Increased plasma Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) levels in females with schizophrenia

Cynthia Shannon Weickert, Cynthia H. Lee, Rhoshel K. Lenroot, Jason Bruggemann, Cherrie Galletly, Dennis Liu, Ryan Balzan, Anilkumar Pillai, Peter Buckley, Thomas W. Weickert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) acts as a critical regulator of synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity. Sex differences have been demonstrated in many aspects of schizophrenia. This study tested for sex-specific differences in peripheral BDNF levels in people with schizophrenia and healthy controls. We measured circulating plasma BDNF levels in 95 people with schizophrenia and 80 healthy controls. Plasma BDNF levels were significantly elevated in females with schizophrenia compared to males with schizophrenia and to female healthy controls. These results suggest that sex differences in peripheral BDNF levels may contribute to other sex related differences in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-217
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • BDNF
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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