Brain-derived neurotrophic factor serum concentrations in depressive patients during vagus nerve stimulation and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2006 Jul;187(1):56-9. doi: 10.1007/s00213-006-0399-y. Epub 2006 Apr 22.


Background: Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex are brain stimulation techniques used as therapeutic interventions in major depression.

Methods: In this study, we report the impact of these stimulation techniques on serum concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in treatment-resistant patients with a diagnosis of major depression.

Results: We found no changes of BDNF serum concentrations and no association of neurotrophin concentrations in serum with clinical parameters in our sample.

Conclusion: Our preliminary results suggest that brain stimulation techniques-in contrast to several antidepressant medications-do not change BDNF serum concentrations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / blood*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / blood
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy*
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation*
  • Vagus Nerve / physiology*


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor