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Several reports suggest that variance in personality traits is inherited, but little is known about the genes responsible. It has been suggested that there is a relationship between personality characteristics and the gene responsible for the activity of the enzyme debrisoquine 4-hydroxylase (CYP2D6).
To examine the proportion of poor metabolizers in a group of personality disordered patients.
Blood samples were obtained from 23 patients with a high or very high score on the dimension ‘harm avoidance’ of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). The samples were genotyped for the null alleles CYP2D6*3 and*4 by performing an allele-specific polymerase chain reaction.
The frequencies of genotypes in the sample were very similar to the frequencies found in a general white population.
The investigation produced no support for the idea that the CYP2D6 gene is related to personality by means of variations in the temperament dimension of harm avoidance.