Val66met Polymorphism Is Associated with Altered Motor-Related Oscillatory Activity in Youth with Cerebral Palsy

SOURCE: Brain Sciences. 12(4) (no pagination), 2022. Article Number: 435.


AUTHORS: Trevarrow M.P.; Bergwell H.; Sanmann J.; Wilson T.W.; Kurz M.J.

ABSTRACT: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a critical role in the capacity for neuro-plastic change. A single nucleotide polymorphism of the BDNF gene is well known to alter the activity-dependent release of the protein and may impact the capacity for neuroplastic change. Numerous studies have shown altered sensorimotor beta event-related desynchronization (ERD) responses in youth with cerebral palsy (CP), which is thought to be directly related to motor planning. The objective of the current investigation was to use magnetoencephalography (MEG) to evaluate
whether the BDNF genotype affects the strength of the sensorimotor beta ERD seen in youth with CP while youth with CP performed a leg isometric target matching task. In addition, we collected saliva samples and used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification to determine the status of the amino acid fragment containing codon 66 of the BDNF gene. Our genotyping results identified that 25% of the youth with CP had a Val66Met or Met66Met polymorphism at codon 66 of the BDNF gene. Furthermore, we identified that the beta ERD was stronger in youth with CP who had the Val66Met or Met66Met polymorphism in comparison to those without the polymorphism (p = 0.042). Overall, these novel findings suggest that a polymorphism at the BDNF gene may alter sensorimotor cortical
oscillations in youth with CP.