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Vol. 53, No. 3, 2006
Issue release date: June 2006
Neuropsychobiology 2006;53:153–156

BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism Is Associated with Body Mass Index in Healthy Adults

Gunstad J. · Schofield P. · Paul R.H. · Spitznagel M.B. · Cohen R.A. · Williams L.M. · Kohn M. · Gordon E.
aDepartment of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA; bPrince of Wales Medical Research Institute and School of Medicine and Department of Biotechnology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; cDepartment of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School, Providence, R.I., and dDepartment of Psychiatry, Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio, USA; eThe Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Millennium Institute, Westmead Hospital, Sydney, fChildren’s Hospital at Westmead, Westmead/Sydney, gBrain Resource International Database, Brain Resource Company, Paddington, and hDiscipline of Psychological Medicine, Western Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

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Although recent studies suggest a possible relationship between the brain-derived neurotrophic factor Val66Met polymorphism and eating disorders, no study has examined the possibility that the Met-Met genotype is associated with a lower body mass index (BMI) in healthy individuals. We examined this possibility in 481 adults (age range 18–82 years) without significant medical or psychiatric history. After adjusting for gender, analysis of covariance showed that persons with the Met-Met genotype had a lower BMI than those with the Val-Met/Val-Val genotypes (22.28 ± 3.77 vs. 24.72 ± 4.81). A similar, though nonsignificant, trend emerged when comparing all three genotypes separately. These findings suggest a possible relationship between Val66Met polymorphism and BMI in healthy adults. Further work is needed to clarify possible mechanisms for this relationship.

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