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Posts Tagged ‘BDNF’

bdnfMedWire (9/15, Davenport) reports that, according to a study published in the journal Bipolar Disorders, “euthymic bipolar disorder patients have similar serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels to those of healthy individuals, supporting the theory that treatment normalizes levels of the neurotrophin.” For the study, researchers from Brazil’s Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre “used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure serum BDNF levels in 65 euthymic patients with bipolar I disorder and 50 healthy controls.” The team also “administered a neurocognitive battery to assess attention and mental control, perceptual-motor skills, executive function, verbal fluency, verbal abstraction, visuospatial attention, and memory function.” The investigators discovered “no significant differences in serum BDNF levels between patients and controls.”

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bdnfHealthDay (5/28, Preidt) reported that, according to a study published online May 28 in the journal Science, “a naturally occurring protein” called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) “plays a role in the disrupted functioning of the brain’s reward circuitry seen in people with drug and alcohol dependence.” In the study, researchers from the University of Toronto and Brigham Young University “found that a single injection of BDNF made rats behave as if they were dependent on opiates, even though they’d never been given the drugs.” The team “also found that the BDNF injections in the rats caused certain chemicals that normally inhibit neurons in the brain’s reward circuitry to excite neurons, which is what happens when people become dependent on drugs.” The authors suggested that “BDNF plays a major role in inducing drug dependency.”

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HealthDay (2/8, McKeever) reported that, according to a study published in the Feb. 8 issue of Nature Medicine, “a naturally occurring brain protein” called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) “appears able to slow or stop Alzheimer’s disease in recent studies done on animal models.” Working with rodents and monkeys, researchers from the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine found that when they “injected BDNF in lab animals that either were aged, had entorhinal cortex damage, or were genetically altered to have Alzheimer’s-like symptoms,” the “animals had improved memory and cognitive skills, and…cell degeneration and death was prevented or reversed.” In addition, “the animals receiving the treatment…began producing more BDNF on their own and exhibited better brain cell signaling and neuronal function, whereas the untreated animals degenerated further.” The authors posited that “since BDNF appeared both safe and effective on animal models, it could hold hope for treating Alzheimer’s disease in humans.”

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