Effects of cognitive-behavioral therapy on neurotrophic factors in patients with major depressive disorder


Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr.




Objective: To correlate neurotrophic factors – brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), and beta-nerve growth factor (beta-NGF) – and severity of depressive symptoms in patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) undergoing cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Methods: In this quasi-experimental study, participants were selected by convenience and received 16 sessions of CBT. The outcomes of interest were severity of depressive symptoms and changes in neurotrophic factor levels after CBT. The differences between variables before and after treatment (deltas) were analyzed. Results: Patients had significant changes in symptom severity after treatment. No significant associations were found between Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) scores and any independent variable. No correlations were observed between BDNF or GDNF levels and BDI scores before or after treatment, although there was a trend toward significant differences in beta-NGF levels. Conclusion: BDNF, beta-NGF, and GDNF were not influenced by the effects of CBT on depressive symptoms.

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