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Allele Predicts Treatment Response in Schizophrenia

Variants in RGS4 gene are also associated with disease severity

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with schizophrenia, variations in the regulator of G-protein signaling 4 (RGS4) gene appear to correlate with severity of symptoms, and may be used to predict response to particular antipsychotic treatments, reports an article published in the January issue of Biological Psychiatry.

Daniel B. Campbell, Ph.D., of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues performed genotyping of the RGS4 gene in 678 individuals with schizophrenia, analyzing the association between RGS4 markers and response to antipsychotic treatment and disease severity based on Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS).

Two markers within RGS4, rs2661319 and rs2842030, were associated with more severe PANSS scores. In addition, individuals of African ancestry who were homozygous for the rs951439 C allele had improved symptoms with treatment of perphenazine more so than with quetiapine or ziprasidone.

"The different treatment responses among RGS4 genotypes, based on changes in PANSS scores and time to discontinuation of treatment, is consistent with our working hypotheses 1) that the pharmacologic actions of antipsychotic treatments could be influenced by RGS4 expression levels, and, 2) that certain RGS4 genotypes may be useful for predicting the efficacy of a particular treatment regimen in specific, ethnically defined patient populations," the authors write.

Several authors report receiving research funding and consulting fees from pharmaceutical companies.

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