Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Advances in molecular genetics of panic disorder.

The molecular genetic research on panic disorder (PD) has grown tremendously in the past decade. Although the data from twin and family studies suggest an involvement of genetic factors in the familial transmission of PD with the heritability estimate near 40%, the genetic substrate underlying panicogenesis is not yet understood. The linkage studies so far have suggested that chromosomal regions 13q, 14q, 22q, 4q31-q34, and probably 9q31 are associated with the transmission of PD phenotypes. To date, more than 350 candidate genes have been examined in association studies of PD, but most of these results remain inconsistent, negative, or not clearly replicated. Only Val158Met polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene has been implicated in susceptibility to PD by several studies in independent samples and confirmed in a recent meta-analysis. However, the specific role of this genetic variation in PD requires additional analysis considering its gender- and ethnicity-dependent effect and putative impact on cognitive functions. The recent advantages in bioinformatics and genotyping technologies, including genome-wide association and gene expression methods, provide the means for far more comprehensive discovery in PD. The progress in clinical and neurobiological concepts of PD may further guide genetic research through the current controversies to more definitive findings.

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