Serum Mature BDNF Level Is Associated with Remission Following ECT in Treatment-Resistant Depression

Source: Brain Sciences. 12(2) (no pagination), 2022. Article Number: 126.

Date of Publication: February 2022.

Authors: Psomiades M.; Mondino M.; Galvao F.; Mandairon N.; Nourredine M.; Suaud-Chagny M.-F.; Brunelin J.

Abstract: The search for a biological marker predicting the future failure or success of electrocon-vulsive therapy (ECT) remains highly challenging for patients with treatment-resistant depression. Evidence suggests that Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), a protein known to be involved in brain plasticity mechanisms, can play a key role in both the clinical efficacy of ECT and the pathophys-iology of depressive disorders. We hypothesized that mature BDNF (mBDNF), an isoform of BDNF involved in the neural plasticity and survival of neural networks, might be a good candidate for predicting the efficacy of ECT. Total BDNF (tBDNF) and mBDNF levels were measured in 23 patients with severe treatment-resistant depression before (baseline) they received a course of ECT. More precisely, tBDNF and mBDNF measured before ECT were compared between
patients who achieved the criteria of remission after the ECT course (remitters, n = 7) and those who did not (non-remitters, n = 16). We found that at baseline, future remitters displayed significantly higher mBDNF levels than future non-remitters (p = 0.04). No differences were observed regarding tBDNF levels at baseline. The multiple logistic regression model controlled for age and sex revealed that having a higher baseline mBDNF level was significantly associated with future remission after ECT sessions (odd ratio = 1.38; 95% confidence interval = 1.07-2.02, p = 0.04). Despite the limitations of the study, current findings provide additional elements regarding the major role of BDNF and especially the mBDNF isoform in the clinical response to ECT in major depression.