No evidence of association between BDNF gene variants and age-at-onset of Huntington's disease

Emilio Di Maria, Antonella Marasco, Marzia Tartari, Paola Ciotti, Giovanni Abbruzzese, Giuseppe Novelli, Emilia Bellone, Elena Cattaneo, Paola Mandich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Huntington's disease (HD) is a late-onset, autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease caused by a CAG trinucleotide expansion. The number of repeats on the HD chromosome explains most of the variability in age of onset, but genetic factors other than the HD gene are responsible for part of the residual variance. Based on the role played by the brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in neurodysfunction and neurodegeneration in HD, we searched for novel polymorphisms in the neuron restrictive silencer element located in the BDNF promoter. Then, the effect of the Val66Met variant in determining age of onset was tested in a large sample of HD carriers by using a multivariate regression approach. The CAG repeat number accounted for 62% of the variance. After correction for the predominant effect of the CAG expansion, no multiple regression model provided evidence of association between the Val66Met genotype and variation in age-at-onset. Additional studies are warranted to further investigate BDNF as genetic modifier of the HD phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-279
Number of pages6
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


  • Age-at-onset
  • BDNF
  • Genetic modifiers
  • Huntington's disease
  • Regression analysis
  • Val66Met polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology


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