Aims: Studies in the recent decade have shown that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may play an important role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). Tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) has been implicated in the control of the direction of BDNF action. The aim of the study was therefore to investigate the changes of BDNF/tPA levels and their clinical meanings in geriatric depression.
Methods: Plasma BDNF and tPA levels were measured in late-onset geriatric depression (LGD) before treatment (n = 24) and after 6 weeks of antidepressant treatment (n = 24) compared with control subjects (n = 30) using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The severity of depression was assessed with the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.
Results: Baseline plasma BDNF and tPA levels were significantly lower in LGD patients compared to controls (P = 0.037 and P = 0.000, respectively). There was a heightening tendency of plasma BDNF level after treatment.
Conclusions: Plasma BDNF and tPA levels are associated with LGD. The complex mechanism of BDNF and tPA in LGD should be further explored in future studies.