Pyschotherapygenétics. Do genes influence psychotherapy adherence?

Vctor Pérez, Juan Carlos Pascual, Joaquim Soler, Thais Tiana, Anna Cortés, Montserrat Baiget, Ana Martn-Blanco, Enrique Álvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: There is probably an association between genetic factors, personality traits and response to psychotherapy. We propose the new concept of "psychotherapygenetics" as a strategy to study how genetic factors may influence psychotherapeutic response. The aim was to examine the association between polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter gene (SERT) and the dopamine 4-receptor gene (DRD4) with adherence to psychotherapy. Method: We performed a prospective study of 110 patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) who participated in dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). Three polymorphisms were examined: the 5-HTTLPR and the VNTR on the SERT gene and the 7-repeat allele (D4.7) on the DRD4 gene. The dropout rate and the mean number of sessions attended were used as an adherence index. Results: The presence of the 12-repeat allele on the VNTR polymorphism of SERT was associated with higher adherence to psychotherapy. There was no significant association between the 5-HTTLPR or D4.7 polymorphisms and adherence. Conclusions: Our preliminary results show a correlation between certain genetic variations and adherence to DBT in patients with BPD. A "psychotherapygenetics" approach could be useful to study how genetic variables may influence patients' psychotherapy response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-71
JournalRevista de Psiquiatria y Salud Mental
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Genetics
  • Psychotherapy


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