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Emotional Distress in Parents of Psychotic Patients is Modified by Serotonin Transporter Gene (5-HTTLPR) - Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Gene Interactions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2013

Vera Golimbet
Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (Russia)
Margarita Alfimova
Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (Russia)
Galina Korovaitseva
Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (Russia)
Lilia I. Abramova
Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (Russia)
Vasily G. Kaled
Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (Russia)
E-mail address:


Caregiving of a family member with psychotic disorder is considered among the most significant stressors and relatives of a sufferer experienced psychological and physical burden that may be the cause of neurotic states. There is growing evidence that sensitivity of individuals to depressogenic effects of stressful factor is moderated by genetic variants of serotonin transporter (SERT) and brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF). We examined the association of the 5-HTTLPR SERT and Val66Met BDNF polymorphisms with signs of depression and anxiety measured with the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) in 235 unaffected parents of patients with major psychosis and 102 agematched controls. A significant effect of the SERT-BDNF interaction on Depression and Psychasthenia scales was found in the group of parents, but not in the control group. Carriers of the Val/Val x SS variant scored higher as compared to other allelic combinations. The results obtained revealed that the SERT-BDNF interactions might moderate the level of anxiety and depression caused by caregiving status in parents of psychotic patients.

Cuidar a un miembro de la familia con un trastorno psicótico es considerado como uno de los estresores más significativos y los familiares de una persona que sufre dicho trastorno experimentan una carga psicológica y física que puede ser la causa de estados neuróticos. Hay cada vez más evidencia de que la sensibilidad de los individuos hacia los efectos depresógenos de los factores estresantes es moderada por variantes genéticos del transportador de la serotonina (SERT) y de factores neurotróficos derivados del cerebro (BDNF). Examinamos la asociación de los polimorfismos 5-HTTLPR SERT y Val66Met BDNF con los signos de la depresión y la ansiedad medidos con el Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) en 235 familiares sanos de pacientes con psicosis mayor y 102 controles apareados en edad. Se encontró un efecto significativo de la interacción SERT-BDNF en las escalas de Depresión y Psicastenia en el grupo de familiares pero no en el grupo control. Los portadores de la variante Val/Val x SS puntuaban más alto en comparación con otras combinaciones alélicas. Los resultados obtenidos pusieron de manifiesto que las interacciones SERT-BDNF podrían moderar el nivel de ansiedad y depresión causado por el estatus de cuidador de los padres de pacientes psicóticos.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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