Background and Objectives: Heroin dependence (HD) is a chronic relapsing brain illness with substantial heritability. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a crucial modulator in the neurodevelopment, and may be a key mediator of reward processes in HD. The purpose of this genetic study was to investigate whether NGF gene polymorphisms associate with the occurrence of HD and the specific personality traits of patients with HD. Methods: We selected a homogeneous Han Chinese male population to overcome possible confounding effects of population and gender. For the study, 272 HD patients and 141 controls completed the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire to evaluate their personality traits. In addition, a further sample 303 HD patients and 204 controls was added (with totally 920 participants) for the gene association and genotype-phenotype interaction studies. Results: Patients with HD had higher novelty seeking (NS) and harm avoidance (HA) scores than healthy subjects. Nonetheless, NGF gene polymorphisms did not associate with specific personality traits in HD patients and controls. There is no significant difference in NGF gene polymorphisms between patients with HD and controls. Discussion and Conclusions: The NGF gene may neither contribute to the risk of development of HD, nor mediate the relationship between specific personality traits and HD in Han Chinese male population. Scientific Significance: Patients with HD had higher novelty seeking (NS) and harm avoidance (HA) scores than healthy subjects. However, none of the polymorphisms in the NGF gene affected the NS and HA scores in both patients and healthy subjects. (Am J Addict 2018;27:516–523).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health