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Plasma Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Psychopathology in Attempted Suicide

Journal article
Authors L. Ambrus
C. Sunnqvist
Rolf Ekman
L. Traskman-Bendz
A. Westrin
Published in Neuropsychobiology
Volume 73
Issue 4
Pages 241-248
ISSN 0302-282X
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 241-248
Language en
Keywords Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, Psychopathology, Suicide, personality-traits, bdnf levels, factor expression, major depression, withdrawal, symptoms, behavior, scale, vulnerability, association, Neurosciences & Neurology, Psychiatry, Psychology
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


Background/Aims: Increasing evidence suggests a link between brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and suicidal behaviour (SB). Furthermore, decreased peripheral BDNF levels have been associated with clinical symptoms in various psychiatric disorders as well as with personality dimensions in healthy individuals. However, the relationship between BDNF and psychopathology is poorly investigated regarding SB. Methods: Plasma BDNF concentrations were analysed in 61 recent suicide attempters. Clinical symptoms were evaluated using the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale. Personality dimensions were assessed using the Marke-Nyman Temperament Scale. Results: Plasma BDNF correlated positively and significantly with the personality dimension Solidity but not with the other personality dimensions or with clinical symptoms. Conclusion: BDNF plays an important role in the regulation of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis in humans. Our results indicate that lower BDNF concentrations are associated with higher levels of impulsiveness and changeability (low scores on the Solidity scale). Furthermore, low plasma BDNF levels may be proposed as a trait marker rather than a state marker for attempted suicide. (C) 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel

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