Impulsivity, particularly in relation to hyperactivity and substance abuse, has been associated with allelic variation in dopaminergic genes including the dopamine DRD4 receptor,53 dopamine transporter,54 D2 receptor,55 and D3 receptor.56 Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), which produces both dopamine and serotonin as metabolites, has been associated Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical with impulsivity57-59 Genetic variation of the α2a-adrenergic receptor has also been associated with impulsiveness and hostility in normal subjects.60 These studies did not in general use laboratory intermediate
phenotype measures. A polymorphism near the val/met allele of COMT has been associated with self-reports of aggression as well as aggressive responses on the PSAP and impulsive errors on the CPT (Flory et al, unpublished data).61 Affect regulation Psychometric measures of affect regulation that could be used for intermediate phenotypes are the Affective Lability Scale (ALS),62 which measures an individual’s propensity Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical to shift between affects of anger, depression, elation, and anxiety. The ALS has sound psychometric properties and good dimensional and diagnostic specificity. Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical Another measure, the Affective Intensity JNK inhibitor measure (AIM),63 measures the intensity of the experience of affect and it has
been found to have some modest heritability as well (Coccaro et al, personal communication). A variety of laboratory and imaging paradigms may provide potential phenotypes for the affective instability of BPD, including startle eye blink paradigms which measure the magnitude of an eye blink
in response to negative (enhancing) eye blink stimuli and positive (reducing) eye blink stimuli. This test has good test-retest reliability Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical and response may be heritable, as suggested by family studies of schizophrenic patients. Skin conductance response has also been used to measure Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical emotional arousal, and has good stability and test-retest reliability. Finally, corrugated muscle electromyography (EMG) activity is associated with the valence of affective stimuli and may differentiate externalizing from internalizing personalities.64 These paradigms have not been studied Resminostat extensively in BPD. Imaging paradigms evaluating functional brain activity in response to emotionally provocative stimuli may also provide phenotypes for this dimension. For example, increased amygdala activity has been reported following emotionally provocative stimuli,65 and increased activation of lateral regions of prefrontal cortex, areas implicated in voluntary or effortful control of behavior, and increased activation of medial superior frontal cortex, implicated in self-referential perception, have been demonstrated in BPD patients compared with controls.66 Furthermore, in the latter study, the degree of activation of amygdala correlated with the degree of negative affective arousal.