BDNF–TrkB signaling as a therapeutic target in neuropsychiatric disorders
Xin Du,1 Yeewen C Wu,1,2 Rachel Anne Hill1
1Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia; 2Department of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia
Abstract: Research evidence points to abnormal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling being a common and vital participant in the etiology and pathophysiology of many psychiatric disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. To increase BDNF levels in patients is therefore a necessary goal of any treatment. This review explores the various therapeutic strategies that can increase BDNF brain expression and recover mental health disturbances. From environmental enrichment and exercise to dietary intake, it is apparent that a healthy lifestyle significantly influences BDNF signaling and mental health. We conclude that in order to combat the inefficiency of current treatment methods, more attention should be focused on holistic approaches to achieve this goal, as BDNF is proven to have dynamic responses to environmental influences.
Keywords: BDNF, neurotrophins, mental health
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