Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain Chemistry Linked To Aggressive Personality

Date:
June 5, 2007
Source:
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Summary:
An image depicting research findings linking brain chemistry with aggressive personality has been named "2007 Image of the Year" by the Society for Nuclear Medicine. The research showed that healthy men with lower levels of a particular brain enzyme exhibited more aggressive personality traits, as measured by a standard personality questionnaire.

Nelly Alia-Klein.
Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

An image depicting research findings linking brain chemistry with aggressive personality has been named “2007 Image of the Year” by the Society for Nuclear Medicine (SNM). The research, which was performed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, showed that healthy men with lower levels of a particular brain enzyme exhibited more aggressive personality traits, as measured by a standard personality questionnaire.

This neuroimaging research — in normal, non-violent subjects — strengthens the link between low levels of the brain enzyme, known as monoamine oxidase A (MAO A), and aggressive behavior, which has been a topic of research for more than two decades.

“Our study provides evidence of an association between brain MAO A level and aggressive personality traits in normal individuals,” said Nelly Alia-Klein, an assistant scientist at Brookhaven Lab’s Center for Translational Neuroimaging, who presented her work at the society’s 54th annual meeting in Washington, D.C. “If this model of understanding is tested with individuals who actually engage in aggressive or antisocial behavior, such as domestic violence, it could show promise in the future for pharmacological intervention against abnormal aggression,” she added.

The researchers assessed brain MAO A activity in 27 healthy, non-violent male volunteers using positron emission tomography (PET) scanning. This technique uses a radiotracer-tagged molecule that binds to brain MAO A and can be measured quantitatively by PET. The subjects also completed a standard, 240-question personality questionnaire, which gave the researchers a complete profile of the men’s personalities, not merely their tendency toward aggression.

The main finding: The lower the subjects’ brain MAO A activity levels, the more they answered “yes” to statements about taking advantage of others, causing them discomfort, having a short temper, vindictiveness, and enjoying violent movies. “Only aggressive personality was related to brain MAO A activity — not other personality dimensions,” Alia-Klein emphasized.

It is important to note that MAO-inhibitor drugs are effective in treating depression and are not associated with aggressive behavior, she added.

SNM past president and historian Henry N. Wagner Jr. announced the depiction of the Brookhaven Center for Translational Neuroimaging findings as the Image of the Year at a press conference on June 4 during the society’s annual meeting. The honored image, chosen from thousands presented at the meeting, graphically shows the group’s approach providing a visual model of their scientific study into the uncharted gene-brain-behavior complex. It consists of four images, including a PET scan showing brain MAO A activity.“One of the major scientific contributions of molecular imaging is its ability to relate human brain chemistry and behavior,” said Wagner, who for 30 years has summarized current trends in molecular imaging and nuclear medicine, and annually selects an Image of the Year at the society’s meeting.

Alia-Klein’s research is funded by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science; by the National Institute on Drug Abuse; and by the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, a mental health research association.

Poster: N. Alia-Klein, E. Shumay, R.Z. Goldstein, A. Kriplani, J. Logan, F. Telang, G. Wang, F. Henn, N.D. Volkow, J.S. Fowler, Brookhaven Center for Translational Neuroimaging, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, N.Y.; B. Williams, I. Craig, Psychological Medicine, Psychiatry, Kings College, London, United Kingdom; and N.D. Volkow, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, Bethesda, Md., “Gene-Brain-Behavior Relationships: Evidence that Aggression Is Associated With Brain MAO A Activity in Healthy Males,” SNM’s 54th Annual Meeting, June 2–6, 2007, Scientific Poster 1194.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. "Brain Chemistry Linked To Aggressive Personality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070604155818.htm>.
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. (2007, June 5). Brain Chemistry Linked To Aggressive Personality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070604155818.htm
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory. "Brain Chemistry Linked To Aggressive Personality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070604155818.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins