The current search for biomarkers that are diagnostic and/or prognostic of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is of vital importance given the rapidly aging population. It was recently reported that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) fluctuated according to AD severity, suggesting that BDNF might have utility for diagnostics and monitoring of therapeutic efficacy. The current study sought to examine whether BDNF levels varied according to AD severity, as previously reported. There were 196 participants (Probable AD, n = 98; Controls, n = 98) in the Texas Alzheimer's Research Consortium (TARC) Longitudinal Research Cohort available for analysis. BDNF levels were assayed via multiplex immunoassay. Regression analyses were utilized to examine the relation between BDNF levels, Mini-Mental Status Examination, and Clinical Dementia Rating scores adjusting for age and gender. In adjusted models, BDNF levels did not distinguish between AD patients and normal controls and did not significantly predict AD severity or global cognitive functioning. In conclusion, these findings do not support the notion that BDNF serves as a diagnostic marker for AD or disease severity. It is likely that the most accurate approach to identifying biomarkers of AD will be through an algorithmic approach that combines multiple markers reflective of various pathways.
- Alzheimer's disease
- Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
- Clinical dementia rating
- Dementia severity