Dysbindin gene variability is associated with cognitive abnormalities in first-episode non-affective psychosis

Cogn Neuropsychiatry. 2015;20(2):144-56. doi: 10.1080/13546805.2014.991780. Epub 2014 Dec 20.


Introduction: Dystrobrevin-binding protein 1 gene (dysbindin or DTNBP1) has been associated with schizophrenia and cognitive performance. Its expression in areas implicated in cognition such as the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, as well as its role in dopaminergic and glutamatergic system, has been replicated by several studies. The main aim of this study was to examine the association between DTNBP1 variability and cognitive performance in a sample of 238 patients with a first episode of a non-affective psychosis.

Methods: Patients, and a comparison sample of 47 healthy subjects, completed an extensive neuropsychological battery. Five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within DTNBP1 (rs2619528, rs2619538, rs3213207, rs2619539 and rs760761) and three haplotypes (GACAC, GAGAC and GTGAC) were analysed.

Results: In the group of patients, we found a significant association between two of the DTNBP1 SNPs and one of the haplotypes (rs2619539, rs3213207 and GACAC) and a measure of premorbid IQ [Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-3rd Edition (WAIS-III) Vocabulary subtest]. Moreover, one of these SNPs, rs2619539, was also associated with our measure of working memory (WAIS-III Backward digits subtest) and two haplotypes, GAGAC and GTGAC, with our measure of verbal memory (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test), of visual memory (Rey Complex Figure Test) in the case of GAGAC, and of speed of processing (WAIS-III Digit Symbol-coding) in the case of GTGAC.

Conclusions: Our findings add further evidence suggesting an association between dysbindin gene variability and cognitive abnormalities in schizophrenia, providing preliminary evidence of this association since the time of illness onset among minimally medicated patients.

Keywords: DTNBP1; cognition; dysbindin; first-episode; psychosis; schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cognition Disorders / genetics*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Dysbindin
  • Dystrophin-Associated Proteins / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Memory, Short-Term
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology*
  • Schizophrenia*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Wechsler Scales
  • Young Adult


  • DTNBP1 protein, human
  • Dysbindin
  • Dystrophin-Associated Proteins