BACKGROUND: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an activity-dependent secreted protein that is critical to organization of neuronal networks and synaptic plasticity, especially in the hippocampus. We tested hypothesis that reduced CSF BDNF is associated with age-related cognitive decline.<br /><br />METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS, AND CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: CSF concentration of BDNF, Abeta(42) and total tau were measured in 128 cognitively normal adults (Normals), 21 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and nine patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment. Apolipoprotein E and BDNF SNP rs6265 genotype were determined. Neuropsychological tests were performed at baseline for all subjects and at follow-up visits in 50 Normals. CSF BDNF level was lower in AD patients compared to age-matched Normals (p = 0.02). CSF BDNF concentration decreased with age among Normals and was higher in women than men (both p<0.001). After adjusting for age, gender, education, CSF Abeta(42) and total tau, and APOE and BDNF genotypes, lower CSF BDNF concentration was associated poorer immediate and delayed recall at baseline (both p<0.05) and in follow up of approximately 3 years duration (both p<0.01).<br /><br />CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Reduced CSF BDNF was associated with age-related cognitive decline, suggesting a potential mechanism that may contribute in part to cognitive decline in older individuals.
Li, G., Peskind, E. R., Millard, S. P., Chi, P., Sokal, I., Yu, C. E., … Montine, T. J. (2009). Cerebrospinal fluid concentration of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and cognitive function in non-demented subjects. PLoS ONE, 4(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0005424