We explored the effect of the Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism (rs6265) on correlation between changes in plasma BDNF levels with cognitive function and quality of life (QoL) after 12 weeks of treatment in bipolar disorder (BD). Symptom severity and plasma BDNF levels were assessed upon recruitment and during weeks 1, 2, 4, 8 and 12. QoL, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), and the Conners' Continuous Performance Test (CPT) were assessed at baseline and endpoint. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism was genotyped. Changes in cognitive function and QoL over 12 weeks were reduced using factor analysis for the evaluation of their correlations with changes in plasma BDNF. Five hundred forty-one BD patients were recruited and 65.6% of them completed the 12-week follow-up. Changes in plasma BDNF levels with factor 1 (WCST) were significantly negatively correlated (r =-0.25, p = 0.00037). After stratification of BD subtypes and BDNF genotypes, this correlation was significant only in BP-I and the Val/Met genotype (r =-0.54, p = 0.008). We concluded that changes in plasma BDNF levels significantly correlated with changes in WCST scores in BD and is moderated by the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and the subtype of BD.
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