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Recent research has suggested that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may be implicated in the aetiology of mood-related phenotypes. Here we report an investigation of the association between a BDNF coding variant (Val66Met, rs6265) and mood status in a large non-clinical sample of men and women. We genotyped 7389 adult men and women, aged 41-80 years, selected from participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition in Norfolk (EPIC-Norfolk, United Kingdom). Evidence of past year prevalent, lifetime and recurrent episodic major depressive disorder (MDD) and of past year prevalent and lifetime generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), defined by DSM-IV diagnostic criteria, was assessed through questionnaire together with a five-item version of the Mental Health Inventory (MHI-5). A total of 1214 (16.4%) participants reported lifetime MDD and 355 (4.8%) reported lifetime GAD. In this population based study we found no evidence to support an association between the BDNF gene Val66Met polymorphism and mood status.

Original publication




Journal article


J Psychiatr Res

Publication Date





404 - 409


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, DNA Primers, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Female, Genotype, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Mood Disorders, Phenotype, Polymorphism, Genetic, Prospective Studies