Association of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism with BMI in chronic schizophrenic patients and healthy controls

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Abstract

Several lines of evidence suggest that a functional variant of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene (BDNF Val66Met) correlates with a number of eating disorders. Studies have also shown that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism was associated with weight gain in patients with schizophrenia on long-term antipsychotic treatment. This study aimed to determine whether there was a relationship between the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and BMI values in patients with chronic schizophrenia. We compared 308 Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia on long-term antipsychotic medication with 304 healthy normal controls on BDNF polymorphism. Body weight and BMI were measured before breakfast on the day blood samples were taken. The symptomatology of schizophrenia was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. The results showed that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism was associated with the BMI value, with genotype having a strong effect on the mean BMI value in male but not in female patients. Our results suggest that variation in the BDNF gene may be a risk factor for weight gain in male patients with schizophrenia on long-term antipsychotic treatment.

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