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A better understanding of the genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its association with neuroplasticity could play a pivotal role in finding future therapeutic targets for novel drugs in major depressive disorder (MDD). Because there are conflicting results regarding the exact role of BDNF polymorphisms in MDD still, we set out to systematically review the current evidence regarding BDNF-related mutations in MDD.
We conducted a keyword-guided search of the PubMed and Embase databases, using ‘BDNF’ or ‘brain-derived neurotrophic factor’ and ‘major depressive disorder’ and ’single-nucleotide polymorphism’. We included all publications in line with our exclusion and inclusion criteria that focused on BDNF-related mutations in the context of MDD.
Our search yielded 427 records in total. After screening and application of our eligibility criteria, 71 studies were included in final analysis. According to present overall scientific data, there is a possibly major pathophysiological role for BDNF neurotrophic systems to play in MDD. However, on the one hand, the synthesis of evidence makes clear that likely no overall association of BDNF-related mutations with MDD exists. On the other hand, it can be appreciated that solidifying evidence emerged on specific significant sub-conditions and stratifications based on various demographic, clinico-phenotypical and neuromorphological variables.
Further research should elucidate specific BDNF-MDD associations based on demographic, clinico-phenotypical and neuromorphological variables. Furthermore, biomarker approaches, specifically combinatory ones, involving BDNF should be further investigated.
Migration has been reported to be associated with higher prevalence of mental disorders and suicidal behaviour.
To examine the prevalence of emotional and behavioural difficulties, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among migrant adolescents and their non-migrant peers.
A school-based survey was completed by 11 057 European adolescents as part of the Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) study.
A previous suicide attempt was reported by 386 (3.6%) adolescents. Compared with non-migrants, first-generation migrants had an elevated prevalence of suicide attempts (odds ratio (OR) 2.08; 95% CI 1.32–3.26; P=0.001 for European migrants and OR 1.86; 95% CI 1.06–3.27; P=0.031 for non-European migrants) and significantly higher levels of peer difficulties. Highest levels of conduct and hyperactivity problems were found among migrants of non-European origin.
Appropriate mental health services and school-based supports are required to meet the complex needs of migrant adolescents.
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