Associations between Omega-3 Index, Dopaminergic Genetic Variants and Aggressive and Metacognitive Traits: A Study in Adult Male Prisoners

Francesca Fernandez, Mitchell K. Byrne, Marijka Batterham, Luke Grant, Barbara J. Meyer

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Abstract

Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LCPUFA) are critical for cell membrane structure and function. Human beings have a limited ability to synthesise docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the main n-3 LCPUFA required for neurological development. Inadequate levels of n-3 LCPUFA can affect the dopaminergic system in the brain and, when combined with genetic and other factors, increase the risk of developing aggression, inattention and impulse-control disorders. In this study, male prisoners were administered questionnaires assessing aggressive behaviour and executive functions. Participants also produced blood sampling for the measurement of the Omega-3 Index and the genotyping of dopaminergic genetic variants. Significant associations were found between functional genetic polymorphism in DBH rs1611115 and verbal aggression and between DRD2 rs4274224 and executive functions. However, the Omega-3 Index was not significantly associated with the tested dopaminergic polymorphisms. Although previous interactions between specific genotypes and n-3 LCPUFA were previously reported, they remain limited and poorly understood. We did not find any association between n-3 LCPUFA and dopaminergic polymorphisms in adult male prisoners; however, we confirmed the importance of genetic predisposition for dopaminergic genes (DBH and DRD2) in aggressive behaviour, memory dysfunction and attention-deficit disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1379
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalNutrients
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

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