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Front Psychiatry. 2013 Jun 17;4:45. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2013.00045. eCollection 2013.

BDNF and schizophrenia: from neurodevelopment to neuronal plasticity, learning, and memory.

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Biomedical Neuroscience Institute, Universidad de Chile , Santiago , Chile ; Clínica Psiquiátrica Universitaria, Hospital Clínico Universidad de Chile , Santiago , Chile ; Laboratorio de Neurobiología Celular y Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile , Santiago , Chile.


Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin that has been related not only to neurodevelopment and neuroprotection, but also to synapse regulation, learning, and memory. Research focused on the neurobiology of schizophrenia has emphasized the relevance of neurodevelopmental and neurotoxicity-related elements in the pathogenesis of this disease. Research focused on the clinical features of schizophrenia in the past decades has emphasized the relevance of cognitive deficits of this illness, considered a core manifestation and an important predictor for functional outcome. Variations in neurotrophins such as BDNF may have a role as part of the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes, from the neurodevelopmental alterations to the molecular mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia patients.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; cognition; learning; memory; neurodevelopment; neuroplasticity; neurotoxicity; schizophrenia

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