Assessment of the relationship between Val66Met BDNF polymorphism and the effectiveness of gait rehabilitation in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy


Cerebral palsy (CP) is associated with the non‑progressive damage of upper motor neurons, which is manifested by a variety of symptoms, particularly motor and functional deficits. During the rehabilitation of patients with CP, attention is paid to improving mobility which can have a significant impact on the child’s development. The effectiveness of rehabilitation depends on the plasticity of the nervous system, which may be genetically determined. Of importance are the various polymorphisms of the brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene. It has been shown that the Val/Val genotype may predispose children to greater improvements in function and its maintenance. However, subjects with the Met allele showed a reduced tendency to improve their motor functions but had significantly better results on indirect tests assessing gait function. Fifty subjects with CP participated in this study. They were divided into two groups by genotype and examined on their rehabilitation progress in terms of improved gait function. The results correlated with other studies describing the relationship between the BDNF genotype and learning motor functions in CP, and with numerous studies on the relationship between BDNF genotype and neuroplasticity in stroke patients. This research provides a basis for the identification of genetic biomarkers in patients with CP which can be used to predict the effects of rehabilitation therapy and help with the development of personalized treatments.
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