Musical practice and BDNF plasma levels as a potential marker of synaptic plasticity: an instrument of rehabilitative processes

Alessandro Minutillo, Gabriele Panza, Massimo Carlo Mauri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and objectives: The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of musical practice on brain plasticity. BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) is a neurotrophin involved in neuroplasticity and synaptic function. Materials and methods: We recruited 48 healthy subjects of equal age and sex (21 musicians and 27 non-musicians). All subjects were administered the AQ (Autism-Spectrum Questionnaire) and plasma levels (PLs) of BDNF, oxytocin (OT), and vasopressin (VP) were measured in the blood sample of every participant. Results.: The difference between BDNF PLs in the two groups was found to be statistically significant (t = − 2.214, p = 0.03). Furthermore, oxytocin (OT) PLs and musical practice were found to be independent positive predictors of BDNF PLs (p < 0.04). We also found a negative correlation between BDNF PLs and AD (attention to detail) sub-scale score of AQ throughout the whole sample. Assuming BDNF PLs to be a marker of synaptic plasticity, higher PLs could be associated with the activation of alternative neural pathways: a lower score in the “attention to detail” sub-scale could imply greater flexibility of higher cerebral functions among musicians. Further researches should be conducted to assess the rehabilitative usefulness of these findings among patients affected by psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurological Sciences
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • BDNF
  • Biological neurosciences
  • Music
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation
  • Synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Musical practice and BDNF plasma levels as a potential marker of synaptic plasticity: an instrument of rehabilitative processes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this