Non-replication of the association between 5HTTLPR and response to psychological therapy for child anxiety disorders.
Lester KJ., Roberts S., Keers R., Coleman JRI., Breen G., Wong CCY., Xu X., Arendt K., Blatter-Meunier J., Bögels S., Cooper P., Creswell C., Heiervang ER., Herren C., Hogendoorn SM., Hudson JL., Krause K., Lyneham HJ., McKinnon A., Morris T., Nauta MH., Rapee RM., Rey Y., Schneider S., Schneider SC., Silverman WK., Smith P., Thastum M., Thirlwall K., Waite P., Wergeland GJ., Eley TC.
BACKGROUND: We previously reported an association between 5HTTLPR genotype and outcome following cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) in child anxiety (Cohort 1). Children homozygous for the low-expression short-allele showed more positive outcomes. Other similar studies have produced mixed results, with most reporting no association between genotype and CBT outcome. AIMS: To replicate the association between 5HTTLPR and CBT outcome in child anxiety from the Genes for Treatment study (GxT Cohort 2, n = 829). METHOD: Logistic and linear mixed effects models were used to examine the relationship between 5HTTLPR and CBT outcomes. Mega-analyses using both cohorts were performed. RESULTS: There was no significant effect of 5HTTLPR on CBT outcomes in Cohort 2. Mega-analyses identified a significant association between 5HTTLPR and remission from all anxiety disorders at follow-up (odds ratio 0.45, P = 0.014), but not primary anxiety disorder outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The association between 5HTTLPR genotype and CBT outcome did not replicate. Short-allele homozygotes showed more positive treatment outcomes, but with small, non-significant effects. Future studies would benefit from utilising whole genome approaches and large, homogenous samples.