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Association Analysis Between Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Expression and Cognitive Function in Patients with Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, or Major Depression

Authors Ni P, Liu M, Wang D, Tian Y, Zhao L, Wei J, Yu X, Qi X, Li X, Yu H, Ni R, Ma X, Deng W, Guo W, Wang Q, Li T

Received 10 October 2020

Accepted for publication 22 January 2021

Published 22 February 2021 Volume 2021:17 Pages 567—574


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Peiyan Ni,1– 3 Manli Liu,1– 3 Dequan Wang,1– 3 Yang Tian,1– 3 Liansheng Zhao,1– 3 Jinxue Wei,1– 3 Xueli Yu,1– 3 Xueyu Qi,1– 3 Xiaojing Li,1– 3 Hua Yu,1– 3 Rongjun Ni,1– 3 Xiaohong Ma,1– 3 Wei Deng,1– 3 Wanjun Guo,1– 3 Qiang Wang,1– 3 Tao Li1– 4

1The Psychiatric Laboratory, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, People’s Republic of China; 2Mental Health Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, People’s Republic of China; 3Huaxi Brain Research Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, People’s Republic of China; 4Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Center for Brain Science and Brain-Inspired Intelligence, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Tao Li
The Psychiatric Laboratory, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, 28 Dian Xin Nan Road, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610041, People’s Republic of China
Tel/Fax +86-28-85423561

Introduction: Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (BD), and major depressive disorder are three common mental disorders. Although their diagnosis and treatment differ, they partially overlap.
Methods: To explore the similarities and characteristics of these three psychiatric diseases, an intelligence quotient (IQ) assessment was performed to evaluate cognitive deficits. Relative catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells was examined in all three groups compared with healthy controls (HCs).
Results: The results indicated that patients with any of the three psychiatric diseases presented IQ deficits, and that the first-episode schizophrenia (FES) group had even lower cognitive function than the other two groups. The relative COMT expression decreased in the FES group and increased in the BD group compared with the HC group. The correlation analysis of COMT expression level and IQ scores showed a positive correlation between relative COMT expression and full-scale IQ in the HC group. However, this correlation disappeared in all three psychiatric diseases studied.
Conclusion: In conclusion, this cross-disease strategy provided important clues to explain lower IQ scores and dysregulated COMT expression among three common mental illnesses.

Keywords: first-episode schizophrenia, FES, bipolar disorder, BD, first-episode major depressive disorder, MDD, catechol-O-methyltransferase, COMT, intelligence quotient, IQ

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