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.
- Borderline personality disorder