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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 901082, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/901082
Research Article

Serum Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Levels in Different Neurological Diseases

1Department of Neuroscience, AFaR—Fatebenefratelli Hospital, Isola Tiberina 39, 00186 Rome, Italy
2Neuropsychopharmacology Unit, IRCCS “S. Giovanni di Dio” Fatebenefratelli, Via Pilastroni 4, 25125 Brescia, Italy
3Alzheimer's Disease Unit, IRCCS “S. Giovanni di Dio” Fatebenefratelli, Via Pilastroni 4, 25125 Brescia, Italy
4Parkinson's Rehabilitation Unit, AFaR-Fatebenefratelli S. Raffaele Arcangelo Hospital, Madonna dell'Orto 3458, 30121 Venice, Italy
5Medical Statistics & Information Technology, AFaR—Fatebenefratelli Hospital, Isola Tiberina 39, 00186 Rome, Italy
6Division of Biology and Genetics, Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine, University of Brescia, Viale Europa 11, 25123 Brescia, Italy
7Genetic Unit, IRCCS “S. Giovanni di Dio” Fatebenefratelli, Via Pilastroni 4, 25125 Brescia, Italy

Received 30 April 2013; Revised 17 July 2013; Accepted 21 July 2013

Academic Editor: Elizabeta B. Mukaetova-Ladinska

Copyright © 2013 Mariacarla Ventriglia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

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 ( ) and a higher BDNF concentration in patients affected by PD ( ). Analyses of effects of pharmacological treatments suggested significantly higher BDNF serum levels in patients taking mood stabilizers/antiepileptics ( ) and L-DOPA ( ) and significant reductions in patients taking benzodiazepines ( ). 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.