The association of serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor with the occurrence of and recovery from delirium in older medical inpatients
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Williams, John; Finn, Karen; Melvin, Vincent; Meagher, David; McCarthy, Geraldine; Adamis, Dimitrios (2017). The association of serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor with the occurrence of and recovery from delirium in older medical inpatients. BioMed Research International ,
Limited studies of the association between BDNF levels and delirium have given inconclusive results. This prospective, longitudinal study examined the relationship between BDNF levels and the occurrence of and recovery from delirium. Participants were assessed twice weekly using MoCA, DRS-R98, and APACHE II scales. BDNF levels were estimated using an ELISA method. Delirium was defined with DRS-R98 (score &gt; 16) and recovery from delirium as &gt;= 2 consecutive assessments without delirium prior to discharge. We identified no difference in BDNF levels between those with and without delirium. Excluding those who never developed delirium (n = 140), we examined the association of BDNF levels and other variables with deliriumrecovery. Of 58 who experienced delirium, 39 remained delirious while 19 recovered. Using Generalized Estimating Equations models we found that BDNF levels (Wald chi(2) = 7.155; df: 1, p = 0.007) and MoCA (Wald chi(2) = 4.933; df: 1, p = 0.026) were associated with recovery. No significant association was found for APACHE II, dementia, age, or gender. BDNF levels do not appear to be directly linked to the occurrence of delirium but recovery was less likely in those with continuously lower levels. No previous study has investigated the role of BDNF in delirium recovery and these findings warrant replication in other populations.