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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015 Feb;232(3):575-81. doi: 10.1007/s00213-014-3694-z. Epub 2014 Jul 31.

The BDNF Val(66)Met polymorphism is associated with escitalopram response in depressed patients.

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Clinique Psychiatrique Universitaire, Centre Expert Dépression Résistante, Fondation FondaMental, CHRU de Tours, 37044, Tours Cedex 9, France,



The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene is a candidate gene in therapeutic responses to antidepressants. The aim of the study was to determine the effects of BDNF allelic variability on responses to escitalopram treatment at 3 weeks after treatment initiation and at a 6-week endpoint.


We included 187 Caucasian subjects with depression; 153 completed the 6-week study. Clinical evaluation was performed using the Montgomery and Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) before and after 3-6 weeks of treatment.


After 3 weeks of treatment, we saw significantly better treatment responses in the Met carriers and greater antidepressant resistance among the Val/Val homozygotes. Relative to Val/Val homozygous (59.78 %), a significantly greater proportion of subjects Met-carriers (77.94 %) responded to escitalopram treatment (χ (2) = 5.88, p = 0.015). After 6 weeks, we found the same pattern of results but this effect did not reach statistical significance (χ (2) = 2.07, p = 0.15).


These findings highlight a significant association between the BDNF valine to methionine substitution (Val(66)Met) polymorphism and the treatment response to escitalopram in a Caucasian population of severely depressed inpatients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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