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Schizophrenic disorders are complex genetic disorders and may involve multiple genes of small effect. The presence of apolipoprotein E (apoE) is associated with several neuropsychiatric disorders. Previous studies on apoE genotype distribution in schizophrenia have reported conflicting findings. We studied the genotype frequencies in a large group of schizophrenic patients. The genotype distribution was significantly different between the schizophrenic patients and the control subjects. Persons who were σ3 carriers have an increased risk of schizophrenia. This result suggests that apoE isoforms may play a functional role in the pathogenesis of schizophrenic disorders. Some possible mechanisms regarding the effect of apoE on the development of schizophrenia are discussed.
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