Neurocognitive deficits are recognized as a cardinal feature of schizophrenia, but the determinants of these deficits remain unknown. Recent reports have suggested that a functional polymorphism, Val(158)Met in exon III of the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene, shares approximately 4% variance with performance on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. These findings led to suggestions that the catechol-O-methyltransferase polymorphism may exert its effects by modulating prefrontal dopamine function, but few other neurocognitive measures have been examined, leaving open questions about phenotypic specificity.
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