Association between Polymorphism of the Neuregulin Gene (NRG1) and Cognitive Functions in Schizophrenia Patients and Healthy Subjects
NRG1 is one of the most likely candidate genes for schizophrenia, though the pathway of its influences on the development of the disease is unknown. One approach to seeking the mechanisms of the association between NRG1 and schizophrenia consists of investigating the relationship between the gene and the endophenotype of the disease, which includes impairments to cognitive functions. We report here an analysis of associations between the NRG1 markers 478B14-848 and 420M9-1395 and measures of semantic verbal fluency and working and episodic verbal memory. A total of 338 schizophrenia patients were genotyped, along with 162 of their unaffected relatives and 316 healthy subjects. Patients showed an association between the 478B14-848 0 allele (220 b.p.) and long-term episodic memory and another between the 420M9-1395 0 allele (274 b.p.) and short-term memory. Patients showed an increase in the proportion of 420M9-1395 00 homozygotes compared with controls. These results suggest that in the Russian population, the 420M9-1395 0 allele is associated with more severe deficit of short-term memory, while the 478B14-848 0 allele appears to be protective in relation to the development of impairments to long-term memory in schizophrenia.
Keywordsschizophrenia NRG1 genetic polymorphism verbal memory executive functions
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