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November 1975

Erythrocyte Soluble Catechol-O-Methyl Transferase Activity in Primary Affective DisorderA Clinical and Genetic Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Research, Jerusalem Mental Health Center, Ezrath Nashim, Israel (Mr Jonas); and the Section on Psychogenetics, Adult Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md (Dr Gershon). Mr Jonas is now with the Council for Research and Development, Prime Minister's Office, Jerusalem.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1975;32(11):1351-1356. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1975.01760290019001

• Erythrocyte catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) activity was studied in 53 patients with primary affective disorders and 38 controls and in selected relatives. Patients with affective disorders tended to have higher activity levels than normals, after correcting for sex differences. The COMT activity was positively correlated between relatives and is heritable. Within families, elevation of COMT activity distinguished healthy relatives from probands and ill relatives. This suggests that COMT activity elevation and affective illness do not show independent assortment and implies that COMT activity identifies genetic vulnerability to affective disorder.