Protective role of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) patients

Autoři: Krisstopher Richard Flores aff001;  Fausta Viccaro aff001;  Mauro Aquilini aff001;  Stefania Scarpino aff001;  Francesco Ronchetti aff001;  Rita Mancini aff001;  Arianna Di Napoli aff001;  Davide Scozzi aff002;  Alberto Ricci aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, Division of Respiratory Diseases, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy aff001;  Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article


Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a common disorder characterized by repeated episodes of upper airways collapse during the sleep. The following intermittent hypoxia triggers a state of chronic inflammation, which also interests the nervous system leading to neuronal damage and increased risk of cognitive impairment. Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a growth factor often associated with neuroplasticity and neuroprotection whose levels increase in several condition associated with neuronal damage. However, whether patients affected by OSAS have altered BDNF levels and whether such alteration may be reflective of their cognitive impairment is still controversial. Here we show that, when compared to healthy control volunteers, OSAS patients have increased serum levels of BDNF. Moreover, OSAS patients with the higher levels of BDNF also have reduced neurocognitive impairment as measured by The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) questionnaire. Treatment with standard non-invasive mechanical ventilation (CPAP) also was able to ameliorate the level of cognitive impairment. Altogether our results indicate that BDNF levels represent a neuroprotective response to intermittent hypoxia in OSAS patients.

Klíčová slova:

Cognitive impairment – Enzyme-linked immunoassays – Hypoxia – Inflammation – Medical hypoxia – Neuronal plasticity – Sleep apnea – Sleep disorders


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