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Effects of Antipsychotics on the BDNF in Schizophrenia

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Brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) is involved in the development of the brain, and likely influences the neuroplasticity in schizophrenia. BDNF is also believed to interact with other neurotransmitter systems implicated in schizophrenia, such as dopamine, glutamate, serotonin and GABA. Therefore, BDNF is a candidate gene for schizophrenia. In past decades, the blood (serum or plasma) BDNF protein levels and BDNF gene alleles and genotypes to the clinical features of schizophrenia, such as age of onset, clinical subtypes, symptom severity, and drug response, have been evaluated among different populations. However, the results are still inconsistent. Further, different drugs have been reported to have different effects on BDNF protein levels. A cross-sectional survey revealed that serum BDNF levels in chronic schizophrenic patients treated with clozapine exceeded those of patients treated with risperidone or with typical antipsychotics. In recent times, BDNF epigenetic studies have also been conducted in clinical studies of schizophrenia to address the question of why patients with the same gene genotype and alleles have different clinical presentations. In addition, the effects of different antipsychotic drugs on gene methylation and protein acetylation have also been reported. In conclusion, more data are needed regarding BDNF in the brain and in peripheral blood, including protein levels, single nucleotide polymorphisms, epigenetic regulation, and clinical data in order to understand the role of BDNF in schizophrenia.

Keywords: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; acetylation; methylation; schizophrenia; suicide antipsychotics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-01-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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