Decreased Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Serum Concentrations in Chronic Post-Stroke Subjects

Gabriela Lopes Santos, Carolina Carmona Alcântara, Marcela Abreu Silva-Couto, Luisa Fernanda García-Salazar, Thiago Luiz Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in an indexed scientific journalpeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a critical role in sensorimotor recovery after a stroke. However, few studies have assessed the circulating BDNF levels in post-stroke humans to understand its changes. This study was conducted to measure BDNF serum concentrations in subjects with chronic hemiparesis, as well as to correlate serum concentrations with age, post-stroke time, total score of Stroke Specific Quality of Life Scale (SS-QOL), mobility subscale score, and motor function of SS-QOL. Methods Seventeen chronic post-stroke subjects matched by age and gender with healthy controls took part in the study. Personal data (age, hemiparesis side, and post-stroke time) were collected, and a physical examination (weight, height, body mass index) and SS-QOL assessment were carried out. On the same day, after the initial evaluation, venous blood samples were collected from the chronic post-stroke subjects and the healthy subjects. The BDNF serum concentrations were measured blindly by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results Subjects with chronic hemiparesis presented a decrease in BDNF serum compared with healthy subjects (P < .01). There was no correlation between BDNF serum levels with post-stroke time, age or quality of life, mobility, and the upper extremity motor function (P > .05). BDNF concentrations are related to structural and functional recovery after stroke; thus, this reduction is important to understand the rehabilitation process more clearly. However, more studies are needed considering the genetic variations and other tools to assess motor impairment and functional independence. Conclusion Chronic post-stroke subjects presented a decrease in BDNF serum concentrations, without a correlation with post-stroke time, age, and quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2968-2974
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 National Stroke Association


  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • neuronal plasticity
  • rehabilitation
  • stroke


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