Serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor correlate with the number of T2 MRI lesions in multiple sclerosis

E. R. Comini-Frota, D. H. Rodrigues, E. C. Miranda, D. G. Brum, D. R. Kaimen-Maciel, E. A. Donadi, A. L. Teixeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The objective of the present study was to determine if there is a relationship between serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and the number of T2/fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (T2/FLAIR) lesions in multiple sclerosis (MS). The use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has revolutionized the study of MS. However, MRI has limitations and the use of other biomarkers such as BDNF may be useful for the clinical assessment and the study of the disease. Serum was obtained from 28 MS patients, 18-50 years old (median 38), 21 women, 0.5-10 years (median 5) of disease duration, EDSS 1-4 (median 1.5) and 28 healthy controls, 19-49 years old (median 33), 19 women. BDNF levels were measured by ELISA. T1, T2/FLAIR and gadolinium-enhanced lesions were measured by a trained radiologist. BDNF was reduced in MS patients (median [range] pg/mL; 1160 [352.6-2640]) compared to healthy controls (1640 [632.4-4268]; P = 0.03, Mann-Whitney test) and was negatively correlated (Spearman correlation test, r = -0.41; P = 0.02) with T2/FLAIR (11-81 lesions, median 42). We found that serum BDNF levels were inversely correlated with the number of T2/FLAIR lesions in patients with MS. BDNF may be a promising biomarker of MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-71
Number of pages4
JournalBrazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • BDNF
  • Biomarkers
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neurotrophins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • General Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Cell Biology


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