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Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2015 Jul;19(4):411-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2015.03.005. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in childhood.

Author information

1
Children's department, Innlandet Hospital Trust, 2809 Lillehammer, Norway. Electronic address: vesna.bryn@sykehuset-innlandet.no.
2
Institute for Clinical Medicine, K.G.Jebsen Inflammation Research Center, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo Norway.
3
Department of Habilitation, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Lillehammer, Norway.
4
Kennedy Center, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospital, Denmark.
5
Department of Clinical Genetics, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Denmark.
6
Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre, Sahgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Neurotrophic factors are essential regulators of neuronal maturation including synaptic synthesis. Among those, Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been in particular focus in the understanding of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

PURPOSE:

The aim of our study was to investigate whether BNDF could be used as diagnostic/biological marker for ASD. For this purpose we examined the plasma levels of BDNF and the precursors pro- BDNF in patients with ASD and compared it with non-autistic controls; determined whether there was a correlation between the BDNF and proBDNF levels and clinical severity. We also investigated the coding region of BDNF identify for well-variations which could be associated to ASD.

METHODS:

The 65 ASD patients (51 boys) were enrolled from a recent completed epidemiological survey covering two counties (Oppland and Hedmark) in Norway. The mean age of the total number of children who participated in this study was 11,7 years. 30 non-autistic children were included as controls, 14 boys and 16 girls. The mean age was 11.3 years. Exclusion criteria for control group were individuals suffering from either neurological, endocrine, or immune insuffiency.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS:

Patients with ASD were characterized by moderately but significantly elevated plasma levels of BDNF compared to matched controls. No differences were observed in the proBDNF level between patients and controls. Within the ASD group, children with intellectual disability demonstrated increased BDNF, but not proBDNF levels, while the presence of ADHD had no impact on circulating proBDNF or BDNF. No further associations between plasma proBDNF or BDNF and other clinical demographics were observed.

KEYWORDS:

Autism spectrum disorders; Brain derived neurotrophic factor; Val66Met

PMID:
25847750
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejpn.2015.03.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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