Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is a candidate gene for response to antidepressant treatment. However, response to pharmacological treatments is
moderated by both genetic and other factors within individuals. For example, there is evidence of an influence of the temperamental trait of harm
avoidance on the outcome of depressive disorders. In the present study we aimed to investigate the effect of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene
on medium-term outcome in a naturalistic sample of 86 depressed bipolar spectrum patients, taking into account harm avoidance.
Both single marker and haplotypes were significantly associated with severity of depression at month 6 after treatment initiation. The haplotype
comprising the A-C alleles was associated with a poorer outcome. Harm avoidance maintained a significant effect on depressive outcome in bipolar
disorder, independently from brain-derived neurotrophic factor genotypes. However, harm avoidance’s influence appeared to be more consistent in
patients carrying the protective G-T combination of alleles.
Our results indicate brain-derived neurotrophic factor as involved in the outcome of depression in bipolar disorder. Harm avoidance did not
interact with brain-derived neurotrophic factor genotypes, though its effect was still significant. Given that many factors may influence response
to pharmacological treatments, studies that consider personality and other individual characteristics are warranted also in pharmacogenetic
- BDNF gene
- Bipolar Disorder
- harm avoidance