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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) influences neuronal survival,
proliferation and plasticity Three family-based studies have shown
association of the common Valine (Val) allele of the Val66Met
polymorphism of the BDNF gene with susceptibility to
To replicate this finding.
We genotyped the Val66Met polymorphism in our UK White bipolar
case-control sample (n=3062).
We found no overall evidence of allele or genotype association. However,
we found association with disease status in the subset of 131 individuals
that had experienced rapid cycling at some time
(P=0.004). We found a similar association on re-analysis
of our previously reported family-based association sample
(P<0.03, one-tailed test).
Variation at the Val66Met polymorphism of BDNF does not
play a major role in influencing susceptibility to bipolar disorder as a
whole, but is associated with susceptibility to the rapid-cycling subset
of the disorder.
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