Effect of the BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism on Regional Gray Matter Volumes and Cognitive Function in the Chinese Population
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- Liu, ME., Huang, CC., Chen, MH. et al. Neuromol Med (2014) 16: 127. doi:10.1007/s12017-013-8265-7
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The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism is common and influences the activity-dependent secretion of BDNF, which is critical for neuronal plasticity and survival. This study investigated the genetic effect of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on cognitive function and regional gray matter (GM) volume in a healthy Chinese population (n = 330). Voxel-based morphometry (VBM)-optimized analysis was used. There was no significant difference in the neuropsychological performances among the three BDNF genotypic groups. VBM analyses demonstrated that Met homozygotes had greater GM volumes than Val homozygotes in the left medial frontal gyrus, the left middle temporal gyrus, the left cerebellum, and the right middle temporal gyrus, and had larger GM volumes than Val/Met heterozygotes in the left middle temporal gyrus, the left inferior temporal gyrus, and the right superior frontal gyrus. Our findings suggest that the presence of two Met alleles has a protective effect on regional GM volumes in the Chinese population.