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Abstract #0523

A NRG1 Genetic Variant Associated with Decreased Activation in Verbal Working Memory in Patients with Schizophrenia

Kayako Matsuo1, Chih-Min Liu2, Shen-Hsing Annabel Chen3, Hai-Gwo Hwu2, Wen-Yih Isaac Tseng1

1Advanced Biomedical MRI Lab, Center for Optoelectronic Biomedicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan; 2Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital & College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan; 3Division of Psychology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore

NRG1 is a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia. Brain activation was compared during fMRI between promoter SNP (NRG1-P3) risk carriers and non-carriers in schizophrenia and controls using a Sternberg verbal working memory task. We performed a group (patients vs. controls) by risk (with or without risk allele) ANOVA in 4 groups (20 each) and found a marked activation decrease in the thalamus and cerebellum only in patients with risk allele. In contrast, risk carriers in general had increased "deeactivation" in DMN. This is the first neuroimaging study showing that a NRG1 promoter genetic variant is associated with working memory in schizophrenia.