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Variation in the DRD2 gene affects impulsivity in intertemporal choice

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DOI: 10.4236/ojpsych.2013.31005    3,886 Downloads   5,976 Views   Citations


Introduction: Impulsivity in intertemporal choice has been operationalized as “delay discounting,” referring to the preference for a sooner, smaller reward in neuroeconomics. It is reportedly associated with the dopaminergic systems. Dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) is the D2 subtype of the dopamine receptor of the G-protein coupled receptor family. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in DRD2 gene on delay discounting. Methods: The participants consisted of 91 healthy Japanese people (66 males and 25 females with a mean age of 40.9 ± 6.9 years). Each participant completed the Kirby’s monetary choice questionnaire (MCQ) for delayed gain and donated a whole blood sample. Two SNPs (C957T (rs6277) and TaqI A (rs1800497)) in DRD2 were genotyped by using the DigiTag2 assay. SNP linear regression analyses with 100,000 permutations were conducted for the hyperbolic time-discount rate (k). Results: The SNP C957T showed a significant association; participants with more minor alleles (T) were more impulsive in intertemporal choice for delayed gain (multiplicity-corrected P = 0.041 with a small effect size). Conclusion: The variation in the DRD2 gene is associated with impulsive decision-making. This is the first study to demonstrate an association between DRD2 and impulsivity in intertemporal choice with a multiplicity-corrected significance.

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Kawamura, Y. , Takahashi, T. , Liu, X. , Nishida, N. , Noda, Y. , Yoshikawa, A. , Umekage, T. and Sasaki, T. (2013) Variation in the DRD2 gene affects impulsivity in intertemporal choice. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 3, 26-31. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2013.31005.


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