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Is psychopathy or antisocial personality disorder genetic?



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Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), a mental illness found in 40-70% of the prison inmate population, as referenced in a Daily Mail report, has yet to be fully understood.

ASPD is characterized by traits such as lack of remorse, aggression, and manipulation; these traits have been seen in notable inmates like Jeffrey Dahmer, for example.

But how exactly does an individual become susceptible to ASPD?

In September 2016, Business Insider reported on a research study suggesting that the majority of prison inmates with ASPD had the illness due to genetics.

Although genetics may play a role in those who’ve developed ASPD, it should be noted that environmental factors, such as childhood abuse or neglect, is still seen as a high-risk factor for the disorder.

In the study published by Business Insider, researchers initiated a genome-wide study using data from the Finnish CRIME sample, which was gathered between 2010 to 2011 from 749 Finnish prison inmates.


Surprisingly enough, researchers found that “rs4714329” links attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to ASPD.

Essentially, genes associated with ADHD increase the risk of developing ASPD, based on the study’s findings.

“In humans, LINC00951 and LRFN2 are both expressed in the brain, especially in the frontal cortex, which is intriguing considering the role of the frontal cortex in behavior and the neuroanatomical findings of reduced gray matter volume in ASPD,” researchers concluded.

Jose Florez is the founder and editor of Mental Daily. His work has appeared in Psychology Today, Glamour, HuffPost, among others. He is a mental health advocate, and currently studying psychology.

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