Variation in the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and response to cognitive-behavior therapy in obsessive-compulsive disorder

M. A. Fullana, P. Alonso, M. Gratacòs, N. Jaurrieta, S. Jiménez-Murcia, C. Segalàs, E. Real, X. Estivill, J. M. Menchón

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Abstract

Background: Recent research suggests that the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may play a role in extinction learning. The goal of this study was to test whether variation in the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism is related to treatment response to exposure-based cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), a form of extinction learning, in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Methods: One hundred and six OCD patients from a specialized clinic, who underwent a standardized CBT treatment after partial or non-response to a 12-week pharmacological trial, were genotyped for the BDNF Val66Met and the relationship between genotype and treatment response was analyzed. Results: Among 98 CBT completers, 36% of those carrying the BDNF Met allele were rated as CBT responders compared to 60% of nonMet allele carriers (. P=. 0.027). When analyzing the different obsessive-compulsive symptom dimensions, in patients with contamination/cleaning symptoms, the Met allele was associated with a significantly worse CBT response (. P<. 0.0001) and a lower obsessions severity decrease from pre- to posttreatment (. P=. 0.046). Conclusion: Genetic variation in BDNF may be associated with treatment response in exposure-based CBT in OCD, especially in those patients exhibiting contamination/cleaning symptoms. © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-390
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012

Keywords

  • BDNF
  • Cognitive-behavior therapy
  • Extinction
  • Genetics
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Val66Met

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