Association Study of the Decreased Serum BDNF Concentrations in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment and the Val66Met Polymorphism in Chinese Han
J Clin Psychiatry 2008;69(7):1104-1111
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Objective: Experimental and clinical data
suggested that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in the
pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Amnestic
mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) is characterized
by declined cognitive function and has a high probability of evolving into AD. The aim of this
study was to investigate serum BDNF concentrations
in aMCI patients and determine whether there is an association of the BDNF gene Val66Met
polymorphism with aMCI, cognitive function, and serum BDNF.
Method: Between April 2005 and
January 2006, the present study recruited 99 aMCI
patients who met diagnostic criteria for MCI proposed by the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's
Disease Research Center and 99 matched healthy
controls from a population-based sample. All subjects
underwent extensive assessment of cognitive function, measurement of serum BDNF by an
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and genotyping of the BDNF gene Val66Met
Results: The serum concentrations of
BDNF in aMCI patients (median [interquartile
range] =4.37 [2.35-6.40] ng/mL) were significantly lower than those of healthy controls (4.98
[3.50-7.33] ng/mL) (z = -2.449, p = .014). There
were significant positive correlations between
serum BDNF and scores on delayed recall in the
Auditory Verbal Learning Test, which reflects
episodic memory (r = 0.264, p = .008). No significant
differences were found for either the genotype or allele distribution of BDNF Val66Met
polymorphism between aMCI patients and control subjects. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism
was not associated with serum BDNF or cognitive function in aMCI patients.
Conclusions: This study suggests that
reduced BDNF levels may play a role in the
pathophysiology of aMCI, and the BDNF gene
Val66Met polymorphism may not be an important factor
in susceptibility to aMCI.