Although a polymorphism in this gene, COMT Val(158)Met, affects human behavior in response to stress little is known about its effect on dopaminergic activity associated with the human stress response, which may be of interest for stress-related psychiatric disorders such as psychosis.
One of its most widely studied variations comprises a common single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), a valine-to-methionine substitution at codon 158 (COMT Val158Met), which has been associated with various cognitive phenotypes, psychiatric disorders and changes in brain activation and structure.
To examine, in a sample of young psychiatric patients, (n = 157, mean age 17.01 years (SD = 3.6)) whether i) age at first cannabis use and age at emergence of psychiatric disorders are related and ii) such a relationship is modulated by the Val158Met polymorphism in the COMT gene.
The Val158Met polymorphism of the gene encoding catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is one of the most widely tested variants for association with psychiatric disorders, but replication has been inconsistent including both sex limitation and heterogeneity of the associated allele.
The catechol O-methyltransferase Val158Met polymorphism and herpes simplex virus type 1 infection are risk factors for cognitive impairment in bipolar disorder: additive gene-environmental effects in a complex human psychiatric disorder.