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The short variant of a functional length polymorphism in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter has been associated with several behavioural and psychiatric traits, including bipolar mood disorder. The same short allele has also been implicated as a modifier of the bipolar phenotype. Here we evaluate the etiologic/modifier role of this polymorphism in a case (N=103) / control (N=112) sample for bipolar mood disorder (type I) collected from an isolated South American population. We did not detect an association between bipolar disorder and the 5-HTT promoter polymorphism in this sample. However, an excess of the short allele was seen in younger cases and in cases with psychotic symptoms. When combined with data from the literature, the increased frequency of the short allele in patients with psychotic symptoms was statistically significant.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurosci Lett

Publication Date





199 - 202


Age of Onset, Alleles, Bipolar Disorder, Carrier Proteins, Colombia, Gene Frequency, Genetic Linkage, Genetics, Population, Humans, Membrane Glycoproteins, Membrane Transport Proteins, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Odds Ratio, Polymorphism, Genetic, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins