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Decreased serum level of NGF in alcohol-dependent patients with declined executive function

Authors Bae H, Ra Y, Han C, Kim DJ

Received 31 July 2014

Accepted for publication 16 September 2014

Published 13 November 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 2153—2157

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S72067

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Hwallip Bae,1 Youngsun Ra,1 Changwoo Han,2 Dai-Jin Kim3

1Department of Psychiatry, Myongji Hospital, Goyang, 2Department of Psychiatry, Keyo Hospital, Uiwang, 3Department of Psychiatry, Seoul St Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea

Abstract: The role of neurotrophic factors has been highlighted as a cause of decline in the cognitive function of alcohol-dependent patients. It is known that nerve-growth factor (NGF), one of the neurotrophins, is related to the growth and differentiation of nerve cells, as well as to a decline in cognitive function. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between decreased NGF levels and cognitive decline in alcohol-dependent patients. The serum concentration of NGF was measured in 38 patients with chronic alcohol dependence, and several neuropsychological tests were also performed for cognitive function assessment. The results indicated a significant correlation between serum NGF level and the trail-making test part B, which evaluates executive function, but did not show a significant correlation with other cognitive function tests. An increased serum level of NGF was associated with a decreased completion time in the trail-making test B, and this finding indicates that a high serum level of NGF is related to greater executive function. This finding may imply a protective role of NGF in preventing neuron damage among patients with alcohol dependence. Larger controlled studies will be necessary in the future to investigate this issue further.

Keywords: nerve-growth factor, alcohol dependence, executive function, trail-making test

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