Sunday, March 11, 2007

Does Britney Have an Alteration in the Promoter Region of the Serotonin Receptor 2C Gene?

Britney Spears Leaves Rehab Again!
Britney was photographed outside Kevin Federline's reported residence striking an SUV with an umbrella.

Gene variations contribute to aggression and anger in women

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY, March 9 – Ever wonder why some women seem to be more ill-tempered than others? University of Pittsburgh researchers have found that behaviors such as anger, hostility and aggression may be genetic, rooted in variations in a serotonin receptor gene. Indrani Halder, Ph.D., of the Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Program at the University of Pittsburgh, will present the findings today at the American Psychosomatic Society's Annual Meeting, held in Budapest, Hungary.
Previous studies have associated the hormone serotonin with anger and aggression in both humans and animals and have shown that increased serotonin activity is related to a decrease in angry and aggressive behaviors. In the study being presented today, researchers sought to determine if this relationship was genetically determined. The study is the first to look at the relationship between variations in the serotonin receptor 2C gene and anger and hostility.

But seriously, I feel sorry for Britney. The Neurocritic has never been a fan, but the amount of Schadenfreude heaped upon the poor girl is excessive. Whether she has a substance abuse problem or the onset of a serious mental illness, the public and the press should be a little more compassionate...

Plus, are anger and hostility (whether in women or in men) really so simple? Professor Robert Plomin, deputy director of the Social, Genetic and Development Psychiatry Centre, London, is skeptical:
"Because the Halder paper looks at only one gene in a relatively small sample, I bet that this report will join the ranks of thousands of other reports that fail to replicate. On the other hand, in dozens of studies of humans and rodents, serotonin has been shown to play a role in emotional responding so it is not unreasonable to consider DNA variations in the serotonin transporter as a source of individual differences in aggression and anger. I would just need a lot more convincing."

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At March 12, 2007 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your compassion shows through even with the photos. Nice post.

At March 12, 2007 4:00 PM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

Thanks! [I think...]. I do believe Britney deserves compassion, much more so than that hypocrite, Rush Limbaugh.

At March 16, 2007 5:34 PM, Blogger Dan Dright said...

I agree. I'm also with you on the questionable status of 5HT being the bull-goose aggression factor. And I study serotonin, so I wish it were.

At March 18, 2007 1:31 PM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

Ah ha, so it's not even that simple in flies...


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