The findings of a study suggest that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) might be a viable biomarker of focal epilepsy. The findings appeared in the journal Epilepsy Research.

Researchers of this study aimed to analyze brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) level in blood serum (BS) and lacrimal fluid (LF) of people with epilepsy (PWE). They conducted a case-control study of 72 consecutive patients with focal epilepsy and 60 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. They established two subgroups of PWE based on comorbid depression.

The results showed that BDNF level in PWE was lower both in BS, and in LF, respectively. However, they noted, no significant correlation was found between BDNF level in BS and LF either in the Epilepsy group or in controls. Also, the researchers observed that comorbid depression had no impact on BDNF level in BS or LF of PWE. They wrote of the results: “We revealed a higher BDNF level in LF of men as compared to women in controls and a similar non-significant trend in PWE. Higher BDNF level in BS of PWE receiving valproates versus other AEDs was found, however, a relatively small number of observations and use of polytherapy in most cases should be taken into account.”

“Low BDNF level in LF could be considered as a non-invasive biomarker of focal epilepsy,” the authors wrote.



Keywords: Blood serum, Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, Focal epilepsy, Lacrimal fluid, Non-invasive biomarkers, People with epilepsy