Effects of childhood trauma on BDNF and TBARS during crack-cocaine withdrawal


Braz. J. Psychiatry




Objective: To evaluate the association between childhood trauma (CT) and serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) during crack-cocaine withdrawal. Method: Thirty-three male crack-cocaine users were recruited at admission to a public addiction treatment unit. Serum BDNF and TBARS levels were evaluated at intake and discharge. Information about drug use was assessed by the Addiction Severity Index-6th Version (ASI-6); CT was reported throughout the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). CTQ scores were calculated based on a latent analysis model that divided the sample into low-, medium-, and high-level trauma groups. Results: There was a significant increase in BDNF levels from admission to discharge, which did not differ across CT subgroups. For TBARS levels, we found a significant time vs. trauma interaction (F2,28 = 6.357, p = 0.005,ηp 2 = 0.312). In participants with low trauma level, TBARS decreased, while in those with a high trauma level, TBARS increased during early withdrawal. Conclusion: TBARS levels showed opposite patterns of change in crack-cocaine withdrawal according to baseline CT. These results suggest that CT could be associated with more severe neurological impairment during withdrawal.

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