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Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology

Association of Anxiety Symptoms in Offspring of Bipolar Parents with Serotonin Transporter-Linked Polymorphic Region (5-HTTLPR) Genotype.


PMID 26218602

Abstract

Offspring of parents with bipolar disorder (BD) have been shown to be at high risk for BD. Anxiety symptoms, even at subclinical levels, have been associated with increased risk for BD in these youth. The s-allele of the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of both BD and anxiety disorders and has been associated with pharmacological treatment response and increased risk for antidepressant side effects. Therefore, we aimed to explore 1) whether anxiety symptoms in offspring of BD parents were associated with presence of the 5-HTTLPR s-allele and 2) whether anxiety symptoms in the offspring of BD parents according to the 5-HTTLPR genotypes are related to antianxiety medication status. A total of 64 offspring of BD parents (mean age: 13.7 years) and 51 healthy controls (HC) (mean age: 13.7 years) were compared genetically and on the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC). Offspring of BD parents showed higher levels of overall anxiety than did the HC group. Only antianxiety medication naïve offspring of BD parents were found to have an association between 5-HTTLPR genotypes and anxiety symptoms. The antianxiety medication naïve offspring of BD parents with the s-allele showed higher level of overall anxiety than offspring of BD parents with the l/l genotype. No significant differences in anxiety symptoms or their association with the 5-HTTLPR genotype were found in the HC group. This study indicated that there may be an association between 5-HTTLPR genotypes and anxiety symptoms in offspring of BD parents, and that antianxiety medication status may affect anxiety symptoms in the offspring of BD patients according to genotype.