Serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in treatment-na < ve boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder treated with methylphenidate: an 8-week, observational pretest-posttest study

AKAY A., Resmi H., ALŞEN GÜNEY S., Erkuran H. O., ÖZYURT G., Sargin E., ...More

EUROPEAN CHILD & ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY, vol.27, no.1, pp.127-135, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00787-017-1022-y
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.127-135
  • Keywords: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, Children, Methylphenidate, DEFICIT-HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER, FACTOR BDNF LEVELS, ADHD, CHILDREN, POLYMORPHISM, ADOLESCENTS, PREVALENCE, EXPRESSION, VALIDITY, ADULTS
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an important neurotrophin in the brain that modulates dopaminergic neurons. In this study, we aimed to investigate the changes in serum BDNF levels of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in response to OROS methylphenidate treatment. We also aimed to determine whether there were any pre-post-differences between ADHD subtypes and comorbid psychiatric disorders in serum BDNF levels. Fifty male children with ADHD and 50 male healthy controls within the age range of 6-12 years were recruited to the study. The psychiatric diagnoses were determined by applying a structured interview with Kiddie schedule for affective disorders and schizophrenia for school-age children-present and lifetime version. The symptom severity of ADHD was measured using the Clinical Global Impression ADHD Severity Scale (CGI-S). Physicians completed Du Paul ADHD questionnaires. The levels of serum BDNF were assessed before and after 8 weeks of treatment with effective dosages of OROS methylphenidate. In the present study, the mean serum BDNF levels of boys with ADHD and of the healthy controls were 2626.33 +/- 1528.05 and 2989.11 +/- 1420.08 pg/mL, respectively. Although there were no statistically significant difference between the ADHD group and healthy controls at baseline (p = 0.22), the increase of serum BDNF was statistically significant from baseline to endpoint in the ADHD group (p = 0.04). The mean serum BDNF levels at baseline and endpoint of the ADHD group were 2626.33 +/- 1528.05 and 3255.80 +/- 1908.79 pg/mL, respectively. The serum BDNF levels of ADHD-inattentive subtype were significantly lower at baseline (p = 0.02), whereas BDNF levels post-treatment showed no significant difference. The increase of serum BDNF levels with methylphenidate treatment after 8 weeks was significantly higher in the inattentive group (p = 0.005). The increase of serum BDNF levels with methylphenidate treatment after 8 weeks in boys with ADHD may support the potential role of BDNF in the pathophysiology of ADHD. The role of BDNF in ADHD subtypes in particular should be evaluated with further, larger studies.