BDNF: The link between beta-amyloid and memory loss
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a critical molecule for learning and
memory. Brain BDNF levels correlate with cognitive status. BDNF is downregulated
in Alzheimer’s disease, in age-related cognitive impairment and in a variety of
other neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders exhibiting cognitive deficits.
BDNF is downregulated in the Alzheimer’s disease brain by soluble, aggregated
amyloid-beta, acting via a pathway involving the transcription factor cAMP response
element binding protein, which activates BDNF transcript IV. The complete
pathway by which BDNF is downregulated is still unclear, and the diagnostic and
therapeutic use of BDNF in neurodegenerative disease has not yet been exploited.