Serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in acute and posttraumatic stress disorder: a case report study

Nível sérico do fator neurotrófico derivado do cérebro no transtorno de estresse agudo e no transtorno de estresse pós-traumático: relato de casos

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in two patients, one with posttraumatic stress disorder and one with acute stress disorder, before and after treatment, and to compare those levels to those of healthy controls. METHOD: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor level, Davidson Trauma Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, Global Assessment of Functioning, and Clinical Global Impression were assessed before and after 6 weeks of treatment. RESULTS: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels were higher in patients than in matched controls before treatment. After 6 weeks, there was a reduction in symptoms and an improvement in functioning in both cases. At the same time, brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels decreased after treatment, even in case 2, treated with psychotherapy only. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, as opposed to what has been described in mood disorders, are increased in posttraumatic stress disorder as well as in acute stress disorder.

Stress disorders, posttraumatic; Stress disorders, traumatic, acute; Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Treatment outcome; Case studies

Associação Brasileira de Psiquiatria Rua Pedro de Toledo, 967 - casa 1, 04039-032 São Paulo SP Brazil, Tel.: +55 11 5081-6799, Fax: +55 11 3384-6799, Fax: +55 11 5579-6210 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil