X-linked borderline mental retardation with prominent behavioral disturbance: phenotype, genetic localization, and evidence for disturbed monoamine metabolism

Am J Hum Genet. 1993 Jun;52(6):1032-9.


We have identified a large Dutch kindred with a new form of X-linked nondysmorphic mild mental retardation. All affected males in this family show very characteristic abnormal behavior, in particular aggressive and sometimes violent behavior. Other types of impulsive behavior include arson, attempted rape, and exhibitionism. Attempted suicide has been reported in a single case. The locus for this disorder could be assigned to the Xp11-21 interval between DXS7 and DXS77 by linkage analysis using markers spanning the X chromosome. A maximal multipoint lod score of 3.69 was obtained at the monoamine oxidase type A (MAOA) locus in Xp11.23-11.4. Results of 24-h urine analysis in three affected males indicated a marked disturbance of monoamine metabolism. These data are compatible with a primary defect in the structural gene for MAOA and/or monoamine oxidase type B (MAOB). Normal platelet MAOB activity suggests that the unusual behavior pattern in this family may be caused by isolated MAOA deficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biogenic Monoamines / urine
  • Dangerous Behavior*
  • Female
  • Genes
  • Genetic Linkage*
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics*
  • Intellectual Disability / urine
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Monoamine Oxidase / blood
  • Monoamine Oxidase / genetics*
  • Mutation
  • Pedigree
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • X Chromosome*


  • Biogenic Monoamines
  • Monoamine Oxidase