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Reduced serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor in patients with first onset vitiligo

Authors Yanik ME, Erfan G, Albayrak Y, Aydin M, Kulac M, Kuloglu M

Received 23 September 2014

Accepted for publication 17 October 2014

Published 12 December 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 2361—2367


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 6

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

M Emin Yanik,1 Gamze Erfan,1 Yakup Albayrak,2 Murat Aydin,3 Mustafa Kulac,1 Murat Kuloglu4

1Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Namık Kemal University, Tekirdag, Turkey; 2Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Namık Kemal University, Tekirdag, Turkey; 3Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Namık Kemal University, Tekirdag, Turkey; 4Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey

Purpose: Vitiligo is an acquired pigmentary skin disease that can cause serious cosmetic problems. There have been numerous and well established studies that have demonstrated the comorbidity of various psychiatric disorders in patients with vitiligo. However, to our knowledge, there have been no studies investigating whether a psychiatric biomarker, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), is associated with vitiligo.
Patients and methods: This study was conducted in Namık Kemal University Medical Faculty, Departments of Dermatology and Psychiatry between January 2013 and September 2014. After meeting inclusion and exclusion criteria, serum BDNF levels were assayed in 57 patients with first onset vitiligo and no known current or past psychiatric disorder and compared with BDNF levels in 58 age and sex matched healthy subjects.
Results: The age and female/male ratios were similar between groups. The mean values of serum BDNF were 1.57±0.97 ng/dL and 2.37±1.73 ng/dL in the vitiligo group and in the healthy control group, respectively. The mean BDNF level was significantly higher in the healthy control group compared with the vitiligo group (t=2.76, P=0.007).
Conclusion: This is the first study to compare serum BDNF levels between patients with vitiligo and healthy subjects. The reduced level of serum BDNF in patients with vitiligo may be directly related to the etiology of vitiligo or associated with the high percentage of psychiatric disorders in that patient population. Further studies are needed to support our preliminary results.

Keywords: neurotrophin, psychosomatic, skin, disease

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