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.
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)
- Anxiety / Social anxiety
- Carbohydrate craving
- Constipation – serotonin is required for control of gut motility as it activates sooth muscle activity.
- Depression – worse during winter
- Impulsive tendencies
- Low pain tolerance
- Low self esteem
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Poor dream recall
- Social phobia
- Possible deficiencies in B1, B6, FAD, B5, niacin, L-tryptophan, zinc, 5-HTP, and SAM
High serotonin (From low MAO)
- Aggressive behaviour
- Antisocial behaviour
- Extreme agitation
- GI distress / nausea
- Muscle twitching
- Possible deficiencies B6, FAD, B5, BCAA and progesterone
Possible MAO inhibitors
- Angelica Archangelica (not for diabetes)
- Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)
- Celery (apium graveolens)
- Evening Primrose
- St Johns Wort
- Uva Ursi
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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