BDNF polymorphism associates with decline in set shifting in Parkinson's disease
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Number of pages
SourceNeurobiology of Aging, 36, 3, (2015), pp. 1605 e1-1605 e6
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC NRP
Neurobiology of Aging
p. 1605 e1
p. 1605 e6
SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory; Neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Radboudumc 17: Women's cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 1: Alzheimer`s disease DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Radboudumc 3: Disorders of movement DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Radboudumc 7: Neurodevelopmental disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by nigrostriatal dopaminergic degeneration. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a key protein in brain plasticity and is particularly important for survival of dopaminergic neurons. The Val66Met polymorphism of BDNF (rs6265) has been associated with functional differences (mainly cognitive) between healthy adults and also with differences in the clinical expression of several other neuropsychiatric illnesses including PD. However, these studies used different outcome measures, have not been replicated, and were cross sectional, making it difficult to establish the role of BDNF in the clinical variability of PD. Here, a large cohort of 384 PD patients were followed up for 2 years, and associations between BDNF genotype and various clinical characteristics were examined. The BDNF Met-allele carriers showed a significantly smaller decline in set shifting during follow-up compared with the homozygous BDNF Val-allele carriers. Contrary to previous assumptions, these results indicate that mental flexibility is one of the cognitive processes that may benefit from the BDNF Met allele in PD patients.
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