Brain-derived neurotrophic factor in bipolar disorder: Associations with age at onset and illness duration

Baykara B., Koc D., Resmi H., AKAN P., Tunca Z., Ozerdem A., ...More

PROGRESS IN NEURO-PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY, vol.108, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 108
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.110075
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Animal Behavior Abstracts, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), Bipolar disorder, Age at onset, Early-onset bipolar disorder, Biomarkers, Neuroprogression, RATING-SCALE, BDNF LEVELS, FACTOR GENE, SERUM, NEUROPROGRESSION, ADOLESCENTS, RELIABILITY, VALIDITY, MARKERS, SCHIZOPHRENIA
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Bipolar disorder (BD) is a heterogeneous disorder that contains neurodevelopmental differences. Defining homogeneous subgroups of BD patients by using age at onset (AAO) as a specifier may promote the classification of biomarkers. This study compares peripheral BDNF levels between pediatric and adult BD patients to investigate the associations between BDNF levels, AAO, and illness duration. We enrolled two groups of euthymic patients, those with pediatric BD (n = 39) and those with adult BD (n = 31), as well as a group of healthy controls (HCs) (n = 90). Participants were assessed using clinical measures and BDNF serum levels were obtained using ELISA. We observed that BDNF levels were comparable between adult BD and HCs, but were clearly lower in pediatric BD than in HCs. In adult BD with AAO ?30 years, BDNF levels were significantly higher than in adult BD with AAO <30 years. In pediatric BD, patients with prepubertal-onset had higher BDNF levels than those with pubertalonset. BDNF levels demonstrated the accuracy of being able to distinguish pediatric BD from healthy controls in a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.792). In adult BD, higher BDNF levels were associated with later disease onset, but this was not the case in pediatric BD. Finally, reduced BDNF levels were associated with illness duration in adult BD. The findings indicate that BDNF levels in BD patients are associated with AAO. BDNF may, therefore, potentially serve as a developmental marker in BD, when AAO is taken into account.