Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 397-399

Low serum brain derived neurotrophic factor in non-suicidal out-patients with depression: Relation to depression scores

1 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Neurochemistry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
S Varambally
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: The research was done under the Advanced Centre for Yoga - Mental Health and Neurosciences, a collaborative centre of NIMHANS and the Morarji Desai Institute of Yoga, New Delhi, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.116311

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Context: Low brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of depression. The relation between BDNF and severity of depression has been investigated. Aims: In this study, we aimed to measured serum BDNF levels in never-treated non-suicidal out-patients with depression and relate this to the severity of depression. Settings and Design: This study was conducted in an out-patient setting in a tertiary care psychiatric hospital on consenting depressed patients. Materials and Methods: Forty three (19 females) antidepressant-naive out-patients with depression, aged between 18 and 55 years and 24 (13 females) age-matched healthy volunteers gave consent for the study. Serum BDNF levels were assayed by using the sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method on morning serum samples before starting treatment. These were compared between patients and controls using independent sample t-test. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used to assess the association between baseline BDNF and Hamilton depression rating scale (HDRS). Results: Serum BDNF was significantly lower in patients with depression (mean±standard deviation (SD)=18.59±4.9 ng/ml) than in healthy volunteers (mean±SD=23.6±5.6 ng/ml; P=0.001). There was a significant negative correlation between the HDRS total scores and BDNF levels ( P=0.04), indicating that more severely depressed patients had lower BDNF scores. Conclusions: Serum BDNF level is lower in non-suicidal out-patients with depression. The inverse correlation between ratings of depression and BDNF levels suggests possible relationship between depression, (role of illness on) BDNF levels and neuroplasticity thereof.



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