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Comment & Response
May 2014

Serum Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor as a Predictor of Incident Dementia

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Clinical Neuroscience, Chiba University Center for Forensic Mental Health, Chiba, Japan
JAMA Neurol. 2014;71(5):653. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.6414

To the Editor I read with great interest the article by Weinstein et al1 describing the association between serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels and the risk for dementia. In this community-based cohort study of 2131 participants, with a 10-year follow-up, 140 participants developed dementia, 117 of whom had Alzheimer disease (AD). They found that dementia-free participants with higher serum BDNF levels were less likely to develop dementia and AD, after controlling for age, sex, and cohort. Interestingly, this significant association between serum BDNF and the risk for incident dementia and AD was confined to women. In contrast, BDNF gene variants were not associated with AD risk. Their study suggests that low serum BDNF may play a role in the development of AD, especially in older women, the group at highest risk for AD, and that serum BDNF may also serve as a novel predictor of dementia and AD in healthy adults.1

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