Total sleep deprivation (TSD) is an effective treatment for mood disorders which is thought to act through an enhancement in several neurotransmitter pathways including dopaminergic transmission. However, not all patients respond to TSD and genetic factors are likely to play a major role in determining TSD response. The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of dopamine receptor D4 exon 3 (DRD4) variants on TSD antidepressant efficacy in bipolar disorder. One hundred and twenty-four depressed inpatients affected by bipolar disorder (DSM-IV) were treated with repeated cycles of TSD and were typed for DRD4 variants at the third exon using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques. DRD4 variants were not associated with TSD outcome. Consideration of possible stratification effects such as gender, age at onset and duration of illness did not reveal any association either. DRD4 exon 3 variants are not a main factor influencing TSD outcome in bipolar disorder. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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