Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is associated with cognitive impairments in first-episode and chronic schizophrenia.


Department of Psychiatry, The Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China; Mental Health Institute, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China; National Clinical Research Center on Mental Disorders, Changsha, China; National Technology Institute on Mental Disorders, Changsha, China; Hunan Key Laboratory of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Changsha, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may be related to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. This study aims to examine the relation between plasma BDNF levels and the cognition of patients with schizophrenia. We recruited 31 patients with chronic schizophrenia, 34 first-episode patients, and 35 healthy control subjects. We examined the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) and the plasma BDNF levels in all groups. The schizophrenic symptoms were assessed using the positive and negative syndrome scale. The BDNF levels of schizophrenic patients were remarkably lower than those of the controls. The cognitive MCCB global composite scores and part index scores of schizophrenic patients were remarkably lower than those of the controls. Moreover, remarkable correlations were observed between BDNF levels and partial cognitive dimensions, such as visual learning, memory, and processing speed. Therefore, BDNF may be involved in the pathophysiology and cognitive impairment of schizophrenia.


BDNF,Cognitive impairment,Correlation,Schizophrenia,