MAO gene mutation

MAO gene

Get tested for MAO gene mutation here.

What are MAO gene mutations?

MAO-A (Monoamine oxidase A) is a critical enzyme involved in breaking down important neurotransmitters. Such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Males only have one allele since the gene is inherited through from their mother since it is located on the X chromosome. Only females can be heterozygous for this mutation. When a positive MAO-A mutation is combined with COMT V158M mutation. But in neurotransmitters may be more severe. These imbalances can potentially lead to neuro-psychiatric conditions and symptoms. Such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), mood swings, and aggressive and/or violent behavior.  MAO catalyzes the degradation of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

Note: Doctors have clinically observed that patients with methylation problems (especially those of Autism) Often have trouble breaking down neurotransmitters. The high activity version of MAO-A can contribute to the major depressive disorder. The significance of this SNP should be interpreted with caution.

MAO Types

There are 2 different types of MAO, these include MAO A & MAO B, the metabolism of dopamine (DA) and other monoamines is generally contributed by both:

MAO A  has a higher affinity for serotonin and norepinephrine.

MAO B has a higher affinity for beta-phenylethylamine (PEA).

Both forms of MAO have genes that up-regulate and down-regulate e.g. Fast enzyme = less serotonin or slow enzyme = more serotonin

MAO-A & B are X linked genes that are mitochondrial bound, they catalyze the oxidative deamination of dietary amines, monoamine neurotransmitters, and hormones such as:

  • Indoleamines – Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and Tryptamine
  • Catecholamines – dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine
  • Trace amines – beta-phenylethylamine, tyramine, and octopamine

MAO problems / Symptoms

Serotonin imbalances are common with MAO these include:

Low serotonin (From high MAO A)

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety / Social anxiety
  • Carbohydrate craving
  • Constipation – serotonin is required for control of gut motility as it activates smooth muscle activity.
  • Depression – worse during winter
  • Impulsive tendencies
  • Insomnia
  • Low pain tolerance
  • Low self esteem
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Poor dream recall
  • Social phobia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Negative thoughts

High serotonin (From low MAO A)

  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Antisocial behaviour
  • Confusion
  • Extreme agitation
  • GI distress / nausea
  • Muscle twitching

*Mental health symptoms in bold.

Possible MAO inhibitors

  • Agrimony
  • Angelica Archangelica (not for diabetes)
  • Barbery
  • Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)
  • Celery (apium graveolens)
  • Coffee
  • Coriander
  • Curcumin
  • Echinacea
  • Evening Primrose
  • St Johns Wort
  • Uva Ursi

MAO gene mutations symptoms and behaviors:

MAO symptoms from serotonin

MAO Neurotransmitter Pathway: Serotonin & Dopamine

MAOA A16535C
MAOA T89113C
MAOB A118723G
MAO COMT Activity
MAOA A16535C
MAOA T1011C/1460C
MAO T89113C
MAOB A118723G

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