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Behav Brain Res. 2018 Feb 15;338:51-55. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2017.09.025. Epub 2017 Sep 22.

Impaired cognitive flexibility during sleep deprivation among carriers of the Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) Val66Met allele.

Author information

1
Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia.
2
Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia; Sleep Health Institute and Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
3
Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Sleep Health Institute and Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
4
Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine and Center for Genomic Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.
5
Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia; Sleep Health Institute and Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address: clare.anderson@monash.edu.

Abstract

Accumulating evidence points to a genetic contribution to explain inter-individual vulnerability to sleep deprivation. A functional polymorphism in the BDNF gene, which causes a valine (Val) to methionine (Met) amino acid substitution at Codon 66, has been associated with cognitive impairment, particularly in populations with impaired frontal functioning. We hypothesised that sleep deprivation, which affects frontal function, may lead to cognitive dysfunction in Met allele carriers. To examine this, we investigated, in different BDNF genotypes, the effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive flexibility, as measured by response inhibition using the Stroop Color Naming Task. Thirty healthy, adults of European ancestry, including 12 heterozygous Met allele carriers and 18 Val/Val homozygotes, underwent 30-h of extended wakefulness under constant routine conditions. A computerised Stroop task was administered every 2h. Error rate and reaction times increased with time awake for all individuals. Participants with the Val/Met genotype made more errors on incongruent trials after 20h awake. While Val/Met participants also took significantly longer to respond when inhibiting a prepotent response irrespective of time awake, this was particularly evident during the biological night. Our study shows that carriers of the BDNF Met allele are more vulnerable to the impact of prolonged wakefulness and the biological night on a critical component of executive function, as measured by response inhibition on the Stroop task.

KEYWORDS:

BDNF; Cognitive flexibility; Executive function; Sleep deprivation; Stroop; Val66Met

PMID:
28947280
PMCID:
PMC5957758
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbr.2017.09.025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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