BDNF Val66Met polymorphism is associated with aggressive behavior in schizophrenia.

IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Department of Clinical and Behavioural Neurology, Via Ardetina, 306, 00179 Rome, Italy.
European Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.21). 10/2010; 25(6):311-3. DOI: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2009.10.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene variants may potentially influence behaviour. In order to test this hypothesis, we investigated the relationship between BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and aggressive behaviour in a population of schizophrenic patients. Our results showed that increased number of BDNF Met alleles was associated with increased aggressive behaviour.

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    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is believed to arise from complex gene-environment interactions. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is involved in neuronal development, differentiation and plasticity. A functional single nucleotide polymorphism that results in a Valine (Val) to Methionine (Met) substitution at codon 66 (Val66Met) results in the aberrant sorting and release of mature BDNF through the activity-dependent secretion pathway. The Val66Met polymorphism has been linked to impaired neurocognitive function in healthy adults, and identified as a locus of risk for a range of neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. Here we provide a comprehensive review of the relationship between the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and schizophrenia, integrating evidence from the fields of genetic epidemiology, clinical psychiatry, behavioral neuroscience and neuroimaging. We argue that while the Val66Met polymorphism may not be a major risk-conferring agent for the development of schizophrenia per se, there is mounting evidence that the polymorphism modulates a range of clinical features of the illness, including age of onset, symptoms, therapeutic responsiveness, neurocognitive function and brain morphology.
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Dec 16, 2014