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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011 May;26(5):495-502. doi: 10.1002/gps.2552. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

Low serum BDNF may indicate the development of PSD in patients with acute ischemic stroke.

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Medical College, Southeast University, China.



This study was to test whether serum BDNF or tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is correlated with the development of depression at the acute stage of stroke.


Hundred ischemic stroke patients admitted to the hospital within the first 24 h of stroke onset were consecutively recruited and followed up for 14 days. The 17-item HDRS and MADRS were used to assess the severity of major depressive symptoms on day 3, day 7, and day 14 after admission. The diagnoses of depression were made in accordance with DSM-IV criteria for post-stroke depression (PSD). Serum BDNF and tPA of all the patients were determined by ELISA both on day 1 and day 7 after admission. Meanwhile, 50 healthy control subjects were also recruited and underwent measurement of serum BDNF and tPA once.


We found that 37 patients (37.0%) were diagnosed of major depression at the end of the follow-up. Serum BDNF on day 1 was significantly higher in non-PSD stroke patients than in normal controls, while PSD patients had significantly lower BDNF than non-PSD patients. There was a significant negative correlation between serum BDNF and tPA on day 1 only in PSD patients (r = -0.440, p = 0.006). Serum BDNF < 5.86 ng/ml on day 1 was independently associated with incident PSD at the acute stage of stroke (OR = 28.992; 95% CI, 8.014-104.891; p < 0.001 after adjustment).


There was a significant elevation of BDNF early after ischemic stroke. Serum BDNF on day 1 after admission may predict the risk of subsequent PSD. Moreover, tPA may be involved in the change of BDNF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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