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The COMTval158met polymorphism is associated with symptom relief during exposure-based cognitive-behavioral treatment in panic disorder
Karolinska Institute.
Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge.
Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Clinical and Social Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4753-6745
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2010 (English)In: BMC PSYCHIATRY, ISSN 1471-244X, Vol. 10Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) represents a learning process leading to symptom relief and resulting in long-term changes in behavior. CBT for panic disorder is based on exposure and exposure-based processes can be studied in the laboratory as extinction of experimentally acquired fear responses. We have recently demonstrated that the ability to extinguish learned fear responses is associated with a functional genetic polymorphism (COMTval158met) in the COMT gene and this study was aimed at transferring the experimental results on the COMTval158met polymorphism on extinction into a clinical setting. Methods: We tested a possible effect of the COMTval158met polymorphism on the efficacy of CBT, in particular exposure-based treatment modules, in a sample of 69 panic disorder patients. Results: We present evidence that panic patients with the COMTval158met met/met genotype may profit less from (exposure-based) CBT treatment methods as compared to patients carrying at least one val-allele. No association was found with the 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 genotypes which is presented as additional material. Conclusions: We were thus able to transfer findings on the effect of the COMTval158met polymorphism from an experimental extinction study obtained using healthy subjects to a clinical setting. Furthermore patients carrying a COMT val-allele tend to report more anxiety and more depression symptoms as compared to those with the met/met genotype. Limitations of the study as well as possible clinical implications are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central , 2010. Vol. 10
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-64390DOI: 10.1186/1471-244X-10-99ISI: 000285481600001OAI: diva2:390129
Original Publication: Tina B Lonsdorf, Christian Ruck, Jan Bergstrom, Gerhard Andersson, Arne Ohman, Nils Lindefors and Martin Schalling, The COMTval158met polymorphism is associated with symptom relief during exposure-based cognitive-behavioral treatment in panic disorder, 2010, BMC PSYCHIATRY, (10), 99. Licensee: BioMed Central Available from: 2011-01-21 Created: 2011-01-21 Last updated: 2014-11-28

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