Alzheimer’s and aging: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor may protect against cognitive decline
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Higher gene expression levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are linked to slower cognitive decline with aging and Alzheimer’s (AD) pathology.
535 older adults had annual cognitive testing until death and brain autopsy including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex measurement of BDNF gene expression.
Before and after adjustment for age, sex, education, and neuropathology, higher brain BDNF was associated with slower cognitive decline (P< .001), with ~50% reduction in decline rate with 90th vs 10th percentile BDNF expression, and strongest association in dementia patients.
BDNF was lower in persons with AD pathology (P=.006) but not associated with stroke, Lewy body disease, or hippocampal sclerosis.
Effect of BDNF expression on cognitive decline in persons with AD pathology wa...