RASopathies are associated with a distinct personality profile

Varoona Bizaoui, Jessica Gage, Rita Brar, Katherine A Rauen, Lauren A. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Personality is a complex, yet partially heritable, trait. Although some Mendelian diseases like Williams-Beuren syndrome are associated with a particular personality profile, studies have failed to assign the personality features to a single gene or pathway. As a family of monogenic disorders caused by mutations in the Ras/MAPK pathway known to influence social behavior, RASopathies are likely to provide insight into the genetic basis of personality. Eighty subjects diagnosed with cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome, Costello syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1, and Noonan syndrome were assessed using a parent-report BFQ-C (Big Five Questionnaire for Children) evaluating agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, intellect/openness, and neuroticism, along with 55 unaffected sibling controls. A short questionnaire was added to assess sense of humor. RASopathy subjects and sibling controls were compared for individual components of personality, multidimensional personality profiles, and individual questions using Student tests, analysis of variance, and principal component analysis. RASopathy subjects were given lower scores on average compared to sibling controls in agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and sense of humor, and similar scores in neuroticism. When comparing the multidimensional personality profile between groups, RASopathies showed a distinct profile from unaffected siblings, but no difference in this global profile was found within RASopathies, revealing a common profile for the Ras/MAPK-related disorders. In addition, several syndrome-specific strengths or weaknesses were observed in individual domains. We describe for the first time an association between a single pathway and a specific personality profile, providing a better understanding of the genetics underlying personality, and new tools for tailoring educational and behavioral approaches for individuals with RASopathies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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