Increased plasma levels of BDNF and inflammatory markers in Alzheimer's disease

Mayara Chaves Faria, Gisele Santos Gonçalves, Natália Pessoa Rocha, Edgar Nunes Moraes, Maria Aparecida Bicalho, Marco Túlio Gualberto Cintra, Jonas Jardim de Paula, Luís Felipe José Ravic de Miranda, Alessandro Clayton de Souza Ferreira, Ant Ônio Lúcio Teixeira, Karina Braga Gomes, Maria das Graças Carvalho, Lirlândia P. Sousa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. Neurotrophic factors and inflammatory markers may play considerable roles in AD. In this study we measured, through Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, the plasma levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and neuronal growth factor (NGF), as well as tumor necrosis factor-alpha soluble receptors, sTNFR1 and sTNFR2, and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), in 50 AD patients, 37 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 56 healthy elderly controls. BDNF levels, expressed as median and interquartile range, were higher for AD patients (2545.3, 1497.4-4153.4pg/ml) compared to controls (1503.8, 802.3-2378.4pg/ml), P<0.001. sICAM-1 was also higher in AD patients. sTNFR1 levels were increased in AD when compared to controls and also to MCI. GDNF, NGF and sTNFR2 levels showed no significant differences among the studied groups. The increase in BDNF might reflect a compensatory mechanism against early neurodegeneration and seems to be related to inflammation. sTNFR1 appears to mark not only the inflammatory state but also differentiates between MCI and AD, which may be an additional tool for differentiating degrees of cognitive impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-172
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarkers
  • Brain derived neurotrophic factor
  • Inflammation
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurotrophic factors
  • Neurotrophins
  • STNFR1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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