Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Alzheimer’s Disease: Physiopathology and Beyond
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- Diniz, B.S. & Teixeira, A.L. Neuromol Med (2011) 13: 217. doi:10.1007/s12017-011-8154-x
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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is the most widely distributed neurotrophin in the central nervous system where it plays several pivotal roles in synaptic plasticity and neuronal survival. As a consequence, BDNF became a key target in the physiopathology of several neurological and psychiatric diseases. Recent studies have reported altered levels of BDNF in the circulation, i.e. serum or plasma, of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and low BDNF levels in the CSF as predictor of future cognitive decline in healthy older subjects. Altered BDNF circulating levels have also been reported in other neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, hampering its use as a specific biomarker for AD. Therefore, BDNF seems to be an unspecific biomarker of neuropsychiatric disorders marked by neurodegenerative changes.