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Genetic variation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in bipolar disorder: Case-control study of over 3000 individuals from the UK

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Allan Young


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Background: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) influences neuronal survival, proliferation and plasticity. Three family-based studies have shown association of the common Valine (Val) allele of the Val66Met polymorphism of the BDNF gene with susceptibility to bipolar disorder. Aims: To replicate this finding. Method: We genotyped the Val66Met polymorphism in our UK White bipolar case-control sample (n=3062). Results: We found no overall evidence of allele or genotype association. However, we found association with disease status in the subset of 131 individuals that had experienced rapid cycling at some time (P=0.004). We found a similar association on re-analysis of our previously reported family-based association sample (P<0.03, one-tailed test). Conclusions: Variation at the Val66Met polymorphism of BDNF does not play a major role in influencing susceptibility to bipolar disorder as a whole, but is associated with susceptibility to the rapid-cycling subset of the disorder.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Green EK, Raybould R, Macgregor S, Hyde S, Young AH, O'Donovan MC, Owen MJ, Kirov G, Jones L, Jones I, Craddock N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Psychiatry

Year: 2006

Volume: 188

Pages: 21-25

ISSN (print): 0007-1250

ISSN (electronic): 1472-1465

Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists


DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.105.009969

PubMed id: 16388065


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Funder referenceFunder name
Wellcome Trust
G9309834Medical Research Council
G9810900Medical Research Council