Interactions Between Bdnf Val66met Gene Polymorphism, Childhood Adverse Events And Brain Volume Changes In Schizophrenia And Bipolar Disorder

Presentation First Author: 
Monica Aas

Background: Brain derived neurotrophic factor BDNF is important for brain development and plasticity, and here we tested if the functional BDNF Val66Met polymorphism interacts with childhood adverse events associated with brain abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Method: 106 Caucasians with broad DSM-IV schizophrenia spectrum or bipolar disorder (mean±age: 32.67±10.85; gender: 48.6% males) were consecutively recruited to the Thematically Organized Psychosis (TOP) Study. Histories of childhood adverse events were obtained using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). Val66Met was genotyped using the Affymetrix Human SNP Array 6.0. Regression analyses were conducted to investigate BDNF Val66Met, childhood adverse events and ventricle size. 1.5 T T1-weighted MRI scans were acquired, and the FreeSurfer software (v 4.5.0) was used to automatically obtain measures of right and left lateral ventricles. All analyses presented were corrected for age, intracranial volume (ICV), and gender. Results: We observed a significant interaction between BDNF Val66Met genotype, childhood trauma and larger right and left lateral ventricles. Carriers of the low activity Met allele of the BDNF Val66Met genotype exposed to high levels of sexual abuse or physical neglect presented larger right and left lateral ventricles (p=0.003, and p=0.009; p=0.004, and p=0.052 respectively), compared to Val/Val carriers and Met carriers without trauma. Conclusion: Met allele of BDNF Val66Met modulates the effect of childhood adverse events on lateral ventricular size, where Met carriers present larger ventricles compared to all other groups. Our data suggests an interaction between BDNF Val66Met and childhood adverse events on brain changes in psychoses.

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
January, 2013
Additional Authors: 
Monica Aas, Unn K Haukvik, Srdjan Djurovic, Ørjan Bergmann, Steinar Lorentzen, Ole A Andreassen, Ingrid Agartz, Ingrid Melle
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