Serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in different neurological diseases

Mariacarla Ventriglia, Roberta Zanardini, Cristina Bonomini, Orazio Zanetti, Daniele Volpe, Patrizio Pasqualetti, Massimo Gennarelli, Luisella Bocchio-Chiavetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Consistent evidence indicates the involvement of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). In the present study, we compared serum BDNF in 624 subjects: 266 patients affected by AD, 28 by frontotemporal dementia (FTD), 40 by Lewy body dementia (LBD), 91 by vascular dementia (VAD), 30 by PD, and 169 controls. Our results evidenced lower BDNF serum levels in AD, FTD, LBD, and VAD patients (P <0.001) and a higher BDNF concentration in patients affected by PD (P = 0.045). Analyses of effects of pharmacological treatments suggested significantly higher BDNF serum levels in patients taking mood stabilizers/antiepileptics (P = 0.009) and L-DOPA (P <0.001) and significant reductions in patients taking benzodiazepines (P = 0.020). In conclusion, our results support the role of BDNF alterations in neurodegenerative mechanisms common to different forms of neurological disorders and underline the importance of including drug treatment in the analyses to avoid confounding effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number901082
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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