Friday, March 09, 2007

Anger, hostility and pugnacity may be rooted in variations in the DNA of a serotonin receptor gene

Roger Highfield:

Ever wonder why some women seem to be more ill-tempered than others? The answer may partly lie in their genes, according to a study published today.

University of Pittsburgh researchers report that anger, hostility and pugnacity may be rooted in variations in the DNA of a serotonin receptor gene - the gene responsible in the protein that picks up the brain messenger chemical serotonin.

Dr Indrani Halder, of the Cardiovascular Behavioural Medicine Programme at the University of Pittsburgh, will present the findings today at the American Psychosomatic Society's Annual Meeting in Budapest, Hungary.

The study, the first to look at the relationship between variations in the serotonin receptor 2C gene and anger and hostility, focused on 550 unrelated European women.

Researchers found that those who had one or both of two alterations in the promoter region of the serotonin receptor - the part of the gene that turns it on - were more likely to score lower on tests for anger and aggression.

Gene variations contribute to aggression and anger in women

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