DNA Warrior Gene Test
The "warrior gene" is associated with aggressive behaviour as well as risk taking. The warrior gene is caused by genetic variation in the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene. This genetic test will determine which form of MAOA an individual has inherited.
What is the Warrior Gene?
The warrior gene is a genetic variant of the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene. Monoamine oxidase A is an enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters – chemical messengers involved in transmitting messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine are a few examples of such neurotransmitters. Dopamine controls sensations involved in pleasure and reward and epinephrine and norepinephrine influence the flight-or-fight response.
The level of the monoamine oxidase A enzyme are controlled by the number of repeats of a 30-base pair segment in a regulatory region of the MAOA gene. Individuals with 3.5 or 4 repeats, have the MAOA-H allele and make high levels of monoamine oxidase A. Individuals with 2, 3, or 5 repeats have the MAOA-L allele and only produce low levels of monoamine oxidase A; hence the neurotransmitters are not broken down efficiently. The MAOA-L alleles are known as the warrior gene.
Characteristics Associated with the Warrior Gene
The warrior gene was named due to its association with aggressive behaviour. Since then, studies have linked the warrior gene to various other characteristics including:
- Antisocial behaviour
- Pathological gambling
- Personality disorders
- Crime and violence especially when abused as children
- Psychological disorders such as autism, depression, sleep disorders, seizures
- Panic disorders
- Mental retardation (Brunner syndrome)
- Sudden infant death syndrome
Although the warrior gene has been linked to many negative characteristics, there is also a strong correlation between warrior gene carriers and successful business decisions. Recent studies have shown that people that have one or more copies of the warrior gene are more likely to take financial risks and are more likely to benefit from these risks.
How is the Warrior Gene Inherited?
The MAOA gene is located on the X-chromosome. Males are more likely to display the characteristics associated with the warrior gene, as males only inherit one X chromosome. Females inherit two X chromosomes and the way that the warrior gene affects women is not well understood.
DNA Testing for the Warrior Gene
A simple DNA test can be conducted to determine which single form of MAOA a male has inherited and which two forms a female has inherited. Females can inherit two identical or two different copies of the MAOA gene. The test determines how many repeats are present in the regulatory region of the MAOA gene. Based on the number of repeats, it is possible to predict if a person produces high levels (MAOA-H allele) or low levels (MAOA-L allele) of monoamine oxidase A.