Mental disorders, functional impairment, and nerve growth factor

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Authors Salles FHM, Soares PSM, Wiener CD, Mondin TC, da Silva PM, Jansen K, de Mattos Souza LD, da Silva RA, Oses JP

Received 22 January 2016

Accepted for publication 13 May 2016

Published 22 December 2016
Volume 2017:10
Pages 9—15


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Giuseppe Curcio

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication:
Dr Igor Elman

Fanny Helena Martins Salles,1 Pedro San Martin Soares,1 Carolina David Wiener,1 Thaise Campos Mondin,1 Paula Moraes da Silva,1 Karen Jansen,1–3 Luciano Dias de Mattos Souza,1 Ricardo Azevedo da Silva,1 Jean Pierre Oses1–3

1Translational Science on Brain Disorders, Department of Health and Behavior, Catholic University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; 2Translational Psychiatry Program, 3Center of Excellence on Mood Disorders, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, Houston, TX, USA

Abstract: Nerve growth factor (NGF) is an important member of the neurotrophin family and its alteration has been associated with psychiatric disorders. Functionality consists of the activities that an individual can perform, as well as their social participation, which is an important factor in analyzing the carrier living conditions of subjects with psychiatric suffering. Several studies have evaluated functionality in bipolar disorder; however, no studies have evaluated the functionality in other mental disorders. There are also few studies investigating the association between functionality and the biological bases of mental disorders. This study aimed to evaluate the serum NGF levels in psychiatric patients and to verify a possible association between the serum neurotrophic levels and functionality. This was a cross-sectional study with a convenient sample obtained from the Public Mental Health Service from the south of Brazil. The final sample was composed of 286 patients enrolled from July 2013 to October 2014. Data was collected using a sociodemographic questionnaire, and the diagnosis was confirmed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I) and a Functioning Assessment Short Test. The serum NGF levels were determined using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. Statistical analyses were performed using IBM SPSS Statistic 21.0 software. NGF serum levels were increased significantly in patients with obsessive–compulsive disorder compared with patients with no obsessive–compulsive disorder (P=0.015). An increase in serum NGF levels in generalized anxiety disorder patients was observed compared with patients with no generalized anxiety disorder (P=0.047). NGF was negatively associated with autonomy (P=0.024, r=–0.136), work (P=0.040, r=–0.124), and cognition (P=0.024, r=–0.137), thereby showing that changes in serum levels of NGF are associated with functionality in mental disorders.

Keywords: NGF, mental disorders, functional impairment

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