Reduced serum nerve growth factor in patients with late-life depression

Breno S. Diniz, Antonio L. Teixeira, Rodrigo Machado-Vieira, Leda L. Talib, Wagner F. Gattaz, Orestes V. Forlenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Introduction: Nerve growth factor (NGF) is one of the most abundant neurotrophic factors in the central nervous system and has been involved in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Methods: We recruited 77 age- and gender-matched elderly subjects (38 with late-life depression, 17 with previous major depressive episode, and 22 healthy subjects in the comparison group). Serum concentration of NGF was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: NGF levels were significantly reduced in the depressed patients (p = 0.002) as compared with healthy elderly controls. Elderly control subjects with previous depressive episode also showed a significant reduction in NGF levels as compared with controls (p <0.01); NGF levels were similar between patients with current depressive episode and previous depressive episode (p = 0.2). Conclusion: The present findings provide additional evidence to the relevance of reduced neurotrophic support in the pathophysiology of late-life depression. Also, reduced serum NGF level may be a state marker of depression in elderly subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-496
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Latelife depression
  • Nerve growth factor
  • Neurotrophins
  • Physiopathology
  • State marker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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