The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism is associated with increased body mass index and insulin resistance measures in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.Bipolar Disord 2015; 17(5):528-35BD
We tested the hypothesis that a common functional variant in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), Val66Met, which has been shown to be associated with increased body mass index (BMI) in schizophrenia (SCZ) and schizoaffective disorder (SAD), is also associated with antipsychotic-induced weight gain in bipolar disorder (BPD). Association of Val66Met with other metabolic measures, including high- and low-density cholesterol, triglycerides, total cholesterol, fasting blood glucose, and hemoglobin A1c, was also tested.
This was a 12-month, prospective, randomized trial of two atypical antipsychotic drugs (APDs) with moderate (risperidone) or high (olanzapine) risk to cause weight gain. Subjects were diagnosed as having BPD (n = 90) and SCZ or SAD (n = 76).
BMI was significantly greater in all diagnoses for Met66 allele carriers at six months (p = 0.01). Met66 carriers with BPD showed a greater increase in the triglycerides/high-density (HDL) cholesterol ratio (p = 0.01), a key marker for metabolic syndrome related to insulin resistance, and log-triglycerides (p = 0.04), after three or six months of treatment. Met66 carriers had the greatest increase in log-triglycerides (p = 0.03) and triglycerides/HDL cholesterol ratio after three months of treatment with risperidone (p = 0.003), and the highest BMI at six months (p = 0.01).
The positive association of BNDF Val66Met with high BMI values replicates previous findings in patients with SCZ and indicates the BDNF Val66Met genotype as a potential risk factor for obesity and insulin resistance measures in patients with BPD receiving antipsychotics as well.