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Neurobiol Aging. 2006 Dec;27(12):1834-7. Epub 2005 Dec 15.

The Val66Met polymorphism of the brain-derived neurotrophic-factor gene is associated with geriatric depression.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No. 201, Shih-Pai Road, Sec. 2, 11217 Taipei, Taiwan. jphwang@vghtpe.gov.tw <jphwang@vghtpe.gov.tw>


Brain-derived neurotrophic-factor (BDNF), the most abundant of the neurotrophins in the brain, has been implicated in both major depression and cognitive function. This study examines the association between the BDNF-gene Val66Met polymorphism and depression susceptibility and severity, age-of-onset, cognitive function and suicidal attempt history in an elderly Chinese sample population. We genotyped the BDNF-gene Val66Met polymorphism in 110 elderly inpatients diagnosed with major depression and 171 age- and sex-similar control subjects. All patients were assessed with the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) for depression severity and the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) for cognitive function after admission. Suicide attempt history and age-of-onset of depression were evaluated by interview and medical record. The BDNF Val66Met genotype distribution was significantly different between depressed patients and control subjects (P=0.003) and there was a significant excess of Met allele in the depressed patients compared to the control group (P=0.001). The BDNF polymorphism did not affect age-of-onset, depression severity, cognitive function or suicidal attempt history. The results suggest that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism is a relevant risk factor for geriatric depression.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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