Serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor and clozapine daily dose in patients with schizophrenia: A positive correlation Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a critical role in neurodevelopment and neuroplasticity. Altered BDNF signaling is thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia (SZ) especially in relation to cognitive deficits. Clozapine (CLZ) has been shown a beneficial effect on cognition in SZ in some studies and a detrimental effect in others. To examine serum BDNF, two groups of chronically medicated DSM-IV SZ patients (n=44), on treatment with clozapine (n=31) and typical antipsychotics (n=13) had 5ml blood samples collected by venipuncture. Serum BDNF levels were significantly correlated with CLZ daily dose (r=0.394, p=0.028), but not with typical antipsychotic daily dose (r=0.208, p=0.496). This study suggests that serum BDNF levels are correlated with CLZ daily dose, and this may lead to the cognitive enhancement as seen in patients with SZ under CLZ. Despite the strong evidence that chronic administration of CLZ is effective for patients with SZ, it is still unknown whether atypical antipsychotic drugs regulate BDNF expression. Serum BDNF levels concentration in SZ merits further investigations with regard to the role of neurotrophins in the cognitive response to treatment with CLZ and other atypical antipsychotics.


  • Pedrini, Mariana
  • Chendo, Inês
  • Grande, Iria
  • Lobato, Maria Ines
  • Belmonte-de-Abreu, Paulo Silva
  • Lersch, Camila
  • Walz, Julio
  • Kauer-Sant’Anna, Márcia
  • Kapczinski, Flavio
  • Gama, Clarissa Severino

publication date

  • March 2011