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Digital archive of theses discussed at the University of Pisa

 

Thesis etd-04062010-172746


Thesis type
Tesi di dottorato di ricerca
Author
BIANCHI, CAROLINA
URN
etd-04062010-172746
Thesis title
Associations between brain-derived neurotrophic factor plasma levels and severity of the illness, recurrence and symptoms in depressed patients.
Academic discipline
MED/25
Course of study
NEUROBIOLOGIA E CLINICA DEI DISTURBI AFFETTIVI
Supervisors
tutor Prof.ssa Dell'Osso, Liliana
Keywords
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • plasma levels
Graduation session start date
27/04/2010
Availability
Full
Summary
Background: There is an increasing evidence that the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) could be involved in the pathophysiology of mood disorders and that its peripheral levels may represent a reliable mirror of its concentration in the brain. The aim of the present study was to measure BDNF plasma levels in patients affected by major depression and to explore the possible relationship between the biological parameter and characteristics of the illness.
Method: BDNF plasma levels were evaluated in 30 inpatients suffering from major depression, according to DSM-IV criteria, by means of a commonly-employed ELISA method. The clinical characteristics were assessed by the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) and the Clinical Global Impression (CGI).
Results: BDNF plasma levels were significantly lower in the most severe patients than in the others, and the same was true for patients with dissociative symptoms, severe sleep disturbance and recurrent depression. A significant and negative correlation was observed between the biological parameter and the retardation factor score of the HRSD.
Conclusion: These findings show that low BDNF levels are related to both recurrence and severity of depression, as well as to symptoms suggesting a dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis.
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