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Original Research

BDNF Polymorphisms Are Associated With Cognitive Performance in Schizophrenia Patients Versus Healthy Controls

Xiang Yang Zhang, MD, PhD; Da Chun Chen, MD; Yun Long Tan, MD, PhD; Shuping Tan, MD, PhD; Xingguang Luo, MD, PhD; Lingjun Zuo, MD, PhD; and Jair C. Soares, MD, PhD

Published: August 24, 2016

Article Abstract

Background: Accumulating evidence has shown that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may be involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Moreover, BDNF genetic variants, especially the Val66Met polymorphism, may influence specific aspects of human cognition. This study aimed to investigate the potential association of BDNF gene polymorphisms with susceptibility to schizophrenia and cognitive impairments in patients with schizophrenia in a Han Chinese population.

Methods: Four polymorphisms (rs6265, rs12273539, rs10835210, and rs2030324) of the BDNF gene were analyzed in a case-control study of 1,887 Han Chinese individuals (844 patients meeting DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia and 1,043 healthy controls). Cognitive function was measured using the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) in 598 patients and 434 controls. The current study was conducted from 2008 to 2011.

Results: Significant differences in the genotype and allele frequencies between patients and controls were observed only for rs10835210 (both P < .05). Further, we found that the rs10835210 polymorphism had a significant effect on language performance only in schizophrenia (P < .05). However, BDNF rs12273539 played a stronger role in cognitive performance among both patients and healthy controls, especially on attention (P < .001) and the RBANS total score (P < .01).

Conclusions: These findings suggest the role of these BDNF gene variants in susceptibility to schizophrenia and in some aspects of cognitive function.

Volume: 77

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