Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism in schizophrenia is associated with age at onset and symptoms.
ABSTRACT Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophic factor that promotes several functions of neurons and modulates neurotransmissions. It has been reported that there are alterations of BDNF levels in schizophrenic brains and that BDNF gene expressional changes would be responsible for the etiology of schizophrenia. Recent studies have shown that a variation of BDNF gene (Val66Met polymorphism) affects the function of neurons, and is associated with several neurological and psychiatrical disorders. We investigated the relationship between BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and the onset age as well as levels of clinical symptoms in 159 of chronic schizophrenia in-patients diagnosed by DSM-IV. The mean onset ages were 27.5+/-9.5 for BDNF Val/Val, 25.5+/-7.4 for BDNF Val/Met and 22.9+/-6.0 for BDNF Met/Met and this polymorphism was significantly associated with age at onset (P=0.023). The mean Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale scores (BPRS) were significantly different among those three groups (P=0.003). No significant differences were demonstrated comparing the BDNF genotype distributions of positive and negative family history (P=0.21). Our investigation indicates that the BDNF gene Val66Met polymorphism is related to the onset age of schizophrenia and the levels of clinical symptoms that remain after long-term antipsychotic treatment.
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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.Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 01/2015; 51. DOI:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.12.016 · 10.28 Impact Factor