return to TMARC

Publication Abstract Display
Type: Published Abstract
Title: Impact of the Catechol-O-methyltransferease Val158Met Polymorphism on Executive Functioning in the context of HIV-Infection and Methamphetamine Dependence.
Authors: Bousman C, Cherner M, Atkinson J, Grant I, Tsuang M, Everall I, and the HNRC Group
Year: 2008
Publication: XVI World Congress on Psychiatric Genetics
Volume: Issue: Pages:
Abstract:Background: Evidence of a putative relationship between the catechol-O-methyltransferease (COMT) Val allele and impaired executive functioning among healthy participants has been reported. The purpose of this study was to determine if this relationship could be observed among participants with and/or without HIV-infection and/or methamphetamine (METH) dependence. Methods: 229 males (69% Caucasian, 13% African-American, 17% Hispanic) were recruited and classified into one of four groups based on their HIV and METH status. Those with HIV-infection and METH dependence (HIV+/METH+; n=58), HIV-infection only (HIV+/METH-; n=72), METH dependence only (HIV-/METH+; n=50), or neither HIV-infection nor METH dependence (HIV-/METH-; n=49). An objective deficit score of executive function impairment was derived from a neuropsychological battery consisting of the Wisconsin Card Sort Test, Trail Making Test Part B and Halstead Category Test. DNA was extracted from blood and the COMT Val158Met polymorphism was assayed using a Multiplex PCR technique. Results: HIV-/METH- and HIV+/METH- groups with the Met/Met genotype displayed lower executive function deficit scores compared to Val/Val carriers (F = 3.81, p = 0.02). This effect was attenuated for Met/Met compared to Val/Val carries in the HIV-/METH+ and HIV+/METH+ groups (F = 0.64, p = 0.53). Stratification by ethnicity replicated results found in the entire sample at the trend level. Discussion: Results support the presumed neuroprotective effect of the Met/Met genotype on executive functioning among METH- groups. Among METH+ groups, findings suggest this neuroprotection is attenuated. Thus, carriers of the Met/Met genotype may have a risk for adverse neurocognitive effects of METH comparable to Val/Val carriers.

return to publications listing