BDNF gene polymorphisms predicting treatment response to CBT-based rehabilitation of depression: to be submitted to: European Neuropsychopharmacology

Alexandra Schosser, Daniela Fischer-Hansal, Marleen M Swoboda, Birgit Ludwig, Laura Carlberg, Patrick Swoboda, Klemens Kienesberger, Alexandra Bernegger, Monika Fuxjäger, Melanie Zotter, Nicolas Schmelzle, Michelle Inaner, Romina Koller, Nestor D Kapusta, Helmuth Haslacher, Martin Aigner, Siegfried Kasper, Birgit Senft

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Letter/short communication

4 Citations (Scopus)


Genetic factors were shown to play a major role in both variation of treatment response and incidence of adverse effects to medication in affective disorders. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of therapygenetic studies, investigating the prediction of psychological therapy outcomes from genetic markers. Neuroplasticity and one of its mediators, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), are potential research targets in this field. We aimed to investigate Tag SNP polymorphisms of the BDNF gene in depressed patients treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in the context of a standardized 6-weeks outpatient rehabilitation program. Treatment response was assessed calculating the mean differences in BDI-II (Beck Depression Inventory) scores from admission to discharge. Six BDNF SNPs, including the Val66Met polymorphism (rs6265), were genotyped. Both genotypic data and BDI-II-scores at admission and discharge were available for 277 patients. Three SNPs, rs10501087 (p = 0.005, FDRp=0.015), rs11030104 (p = 0.006, FDRp=0.012), and the Val66Met polymorphism (rs6265, p<0.001, FDRp=0.006), were significantly associated with treatment response in depressed patients, even after multiple testing correction using the false discovery rate method (FDRp). We conclude that BDNF might serve as promising genetic marker for treatment response to psychological treatment in depression. However, due to our limited sample size, further studies are needed to disentangle the role of BDNF as potential therapygenetic marker.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor/genetics
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Depression/genetics
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics
  • Therapygenetics
  • CBT
  • BDNF
  • Psychotherapy
  • Treatment response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'BDNF gene polymorphisms predicting treatment response to CBT-based rehabilitation of depression: to be submitted to: European Neuropsychopharmacology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this