Serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels are specifically associated with memory performance among Alzheimer's disease cases

Sid E. O'Bryant, Valerie L. Hobson, James R. Hall, Robert C. Barber, Song Zhang, Leigh Johnson, Ramon Diaz-Arrastia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aims: Our purpose was to study the link between serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels and neuropsychological functioning through the Texas Alzheimer's Research Consortium cohort. Methods: A total of 399 participants [probable Alzheimer's disease (AD) n = 198, controls n = 201] were available for analysis. The BDNF levels were assayed via multiplex immunoassay. Regression analyses were utilized to examine the relation between BDNF levels and neuropsychological functioning. Results: There were no significant mean differences in BDNF levels between cases and controls. In the AD group, the BDNF levels were significantly negatively associated with the scores on immediate [B = -0.07 (0.02), t = -3.55, p = 0.001] and delayed [B = -0.05 (0.02), t = -2.79, p = 0.01] verbal memory and immediate [B = -0.12 (0.05), t = -2.70, p = 0.01] visual memory. No other neuropsychological variables were significantly related to the BDNF levels. The BDNF levels were not significantly related to the neuropsychological test scores in the control group. Conclusions: Increased serum BDNF levels were associated with poorer visual and verbal memory, but only among AD cases. The current findings point toward an upregulation of serum BDNF as one possible mechanism linked to memory disturbances in AD though it does not appear to be linked to disease severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Biomarkers
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • Cognition
  • Neuropsychology

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