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The BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism Has No Effect on Encoding-Related Hippocampal Response But Influences Recall in Remitted Patients With Bipolar Disorder

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Background: Cognitive impairments in bipolar disorder (BD) such as memory deficits are associated with poor functional outcomes and it has been suggested that the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism contributes to individual variability in memory function in BD. The current study investigated the relationship between the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism, neural activity during a picture-encoding task, and subsequent memory recall. Methods: A total of 70 patients with BD grouped according to genotype [ValVal or Met carriers (MetVal/MetMet)] underwent fMRI while performing a picture-encoding task. Memory for the encoded pictures was tested with a subsequent free recall memory task. Results: There was no difference between the ValVal homozygotes and Met carriers in the involvement of hypothesized memory encoding regions i.e. hippocampus and dorsal prefrontal cortex (dPFC). However, an exploratory whole-brain analysis showed greater encoding-related lateral occipital cortex activity in Met carriers. Behaviorally, Met carriers also showed better free recall of the encoded pictures. Conclusions: We found no effect of the BDNF genotype on encoding-related hippocampal and dPFC activity in BD, although Met carriers showed superior memory performance after the scan, which could be related to more efficient perceptual processing during encoding.

Original languageEnglish
Article number845
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Volume10
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
ISSN1664-0640
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2019

ID: 58720815