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J Autism Dev Disord. 2009 Nov;39(11):1542-51. doi: 10.1007/s10803-009-0794-4. Epub 2009 Jul 7.

Association of COMT (Val158Met) and BDNF (Val66Met) gene polymorphisms with anxiety, ADHD and tics in children with autism spectrum disorder.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, State University of New York, Putnam Hall, South Campus, Stony Brook, NY 11794-8790, USA.


The aim of the study is to examine rs4680 (COMT) and rs6265 (BDNF) as genetic markers of anxiety, ADHD, and tics. Parents and teachers completed a DSM-IV-referenced rating scale for a total sample of 67 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Both COMT (p = 0.06) and BDNF (p = 0.07) genotypes were marginally significant for teacher ratings of social phobia (etap (2) = 0.06). Analyses also indicated associations of BDNF genotype with parent-rated ADHD (p = 0.01, etap (2) = 0.10) and teacher-rated tics (p = 0.04; etap (2) = 0.07). There was also evidence of a possible interaction (p = 0.02, etap (2) = 0.09) of BDNF genotype with DAT1 3' VNTR with tic severity. BDNF and COMT may be biomarkers for phenotypic variation in ASD, but these preliminary findings remain tentative pending replication with larger, independent samples.

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