COMT and STH polymorphisms interaction on cognition in schizophrenia

Marta Bosia, Alessandro Pigoni, Adele Pirovano, Cristina Lorenzi, Marco Spangaro, Mariachiara Buonocore, Margherita Bechi, Federica Cocchi, Carmelo Guglielmino, Placido Bramanti, Enrico Smeraldi, Roberto Cavallaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, a key regulator of prefrontal cortex (PFC) dopamine (DA) availability, has been extensively studied in relation to cognitive domains, mainly executive functions, that are impaired in schizophrenia, but results are still controversial. Since recent studies in patients affected by neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders suggested a role of saitohin (STH) gene as a concurring factor in hypofrontality, we hypothesize that STH and COMT polymorphisms could have an additive effect on cognition in schizophrenia. Three forty three clinically stabilized patients with schizophrenia were assessed with a broad neuropsychological battery including the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and the Continuous Performance Test and were genotyped for COMT Val108/158Met and STH Q7R polymorphisms. We observed the effects of COMT on speed of processing and executive functions, as well as a significant effect of STH on executive functions performances. Moreover, a significant interaction between COMT and STH polymorphisms was found on executive functions, with COMT Val/Val and STH R carriers performing worse. Our results showed a significant interaction effect of COMT and STH polymorphisms on cognitive performances, strengthening the involvement of STH in cognitive impairments, especially in the domains commonly impaired in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-220
Number of pages6
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Cognition
  • COMT
  • Hypofrontality
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Saitohin
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Dermatology
  • Medicine(all)


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