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Y. Wang, J. Li, C. Chen, C. Chen, B. Zhu, R. K. Moysis, X. Lei, H. Li, Q. Liu, D. Xiu, B. Liu, W. Chen, G. Xue and Q. Dong COMT rs4680 Met is not always the ‘smart allele’: Val allele is associated with better working memory and larger hippocampal volume in healthy Chinese Genes, Brain and Behavior 12

Article first published online: 20 FEB 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/gbb.12022

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The Val/Val individuals scored significantly higher on the working memory (WM) task than the Met/Val group and the Met/Met group scored lowest. We reported a significant finding that a functional single nucleotide peptide catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) rs4680 is associated with WM performance and WM-related brain anatomy (hippocampus) in young healthy Chinese. Directions of the genetic effects on WM performance and hippocampal volumes are both opposite of those found in Caucasian samples (i.e. the Val allele is linked to better WM performance and larger hippocampus volume in Chinese), suggesting an ethnic difference in COMT–hippocampus–WM association.

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