Article

The Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Val66Met Polymorphism Predicts Response to Exposure Therapy in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

School of Psychology (KLF), University of Tasmania, Hobart
Biological psychiatry (Impact Factor: 8.93). 01/2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.10.033
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: The most effective treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is exposure therapy, which aims to facilitate extinction of conditioned fear. Recent evidence suggests that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) facilitates extinction learning. This study assessed whether the Met-66 allele of BDNF, which results in lower activity-dependent secretion, predicts poor response to exposure therapy in PTSD. METHODS: Fifty-five patients with PTSD underwent an 8-week exposure-based cognitive behavior therapy program and provided mouth swabs or saliva to extract genomic DNA to determine their BDNF Val66Met genotype (30 patients with the Val/Val BDNF allele, 25 patients with the Met-66 allele). We examined whether BDNF genotype predicted reduction in PTSD severity following exposure therapy. RESULTS: Analyses revealed poorer response to exposure therapy in the PTSD patients with the Met-66 allele of BDNF compared with patients with the Val/Val allele. Pretreatment Clinician Administered PTSD Scale severity and BDNF Val66Met polymorphism predicted response to exposure therapy using hierarchical regression. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides the first evidence that the BDNF Val66Met genotype predicts response to cognitive behavior therapy in PTSD and is in accord with evidence that BDNF facilitates extinction learning.

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