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Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) have essential roles in synaptic plasticity which is involved in pathogenesis and treatment of psychiatric disorders. However, it is not clear whether they act simultaneously during illness states in major psychiatric disorders.
BDNF and GDNF serum levels were measured concomitantly by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method in 171 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (n = 33), bipolar disorder-manic episode (n = 39), bipolar/unipolar depression (n = 64, 24/40) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (n = 35) according to DSM-IV, and 78 healthy volunteers. SCID-I and SCID non-patient version were used for clinical evaluation of the patients and healthy volunteers, respectively. Correlations between the two trophic factor levels, and illness severity scores, duration of illness and medication dosages were studied across different illnesses.
While patients had equally lower BDNF levels in all diagnoses, GDNF levels were significantly higher in mania and lower in schizophrenia compared to healthy controls. BDNF levels were negatively correlated to illness severity scores in affective episodes (mania and depression). Longer duration of illness (> 5 years) had an impact on lower GDNF levels in schizophrenia. BDNF levels and antipsychotic drug dosages in schizophrenia, and GDNF levels and antidepressant drug dosages in obsessive-compulsive disorder were positively correlated.
Our data confirmed the evidence of equally deficient neuronal support by BDNF in all major psychiatric illnesses, but suggested a diverse glial functioning between schizophrenia and mania.
Several lines of evidence suggest that bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with white matter (WM) pathology. Investigation of unaffected first-degree relatives of BD patients may help to distinguish structural biomarkers of genetic risk without the confounding effects of burden of illness, medication or clinical state. In the present study, we applied tract-based spatial statistics to study WM changes in patients with BD, unaffected siblings and controls.
A total of 27 euthymic patients with BD type I, 20 unaffected siblings of bipolar patients and 29 healthy controls who did not have any current or past diagnosis of Axis I psychiatric disorders were enrolled in the study.
Fractional anisotropy (FA) was significantly lower in BD patients than in the control group in the corpus callosum, fornix, bilateral superior longitudinal fasciculus, inferior longitudinal fasciculus, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, anterior thalamic radiation, posterior thalamic radiation, cingulum, uncinate fasciculus, superior corona radiata, anterior corona radiata and left external capsule. In region-of-interest (ROI) analyses, we found that both unaffected siblings and bipolar patients had significantly reduced FA in the left posterior thalamic radiation, the left sagittal stratum, and the fornix compared with healthy controls. Average FA for unaffected siblings was intermediate between the healthy controls and bipolar patients within these ROIs.
Decreased FA in the fornix, left posterior thalamic radiation and left sagittal stratum in both bipolar patients and unaffected siblings may represent a potential structural endophenotype or a trait-based marker for BD.
Using unpublished data obtained in 1982 at Mexico and Turkey combined with Hungarian observations the process of amplitude variation of the frequency at 18.5 c/d is shown. The time scale of the amplitude increase is less than 100 days.
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