Acute prefrontal cortex transcranial magnetic stimulation in healthy volunteers: no effects on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentrations in serum

J Affect Disord. 2008 Apr;107(1-3):255-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2007.08.008. Epub 2007 Sep 7.


Background: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is a brain stimulation technique widely used to treat depression. BDNF serum concentrations have been shown to be decreased in patients with major depressive disorder and can be upregulated by several antidepressive treatment strategies including repetitive TMS.

Methods: In this study we were interested whether acute TMS evolves effects on serum BDNF concentrations in 42 healthy volunteers.

Results: Mean BDNF serum concentration in 19 male and 23 female volunteers was 10.70+/-3.6 ng/ml (n=42) at baseline, and 10.76+/-3.9 ng/ml (n=42) after TMS treatment. BDNF serum levels did not change after acute TMS (n=42, Z=-0.44, p=0.965). BDNF serum concentrations at baseline did not differ between male (n=19, 10.05+/-2.6 ng/ml) and female (n=23, 11.25+/-4.27 ng/ml) participants of the study (n=42, Z=-0.91, p=0.363).

Conclusions: Our result suggests that TMS does not change BDNF serum concentrations immediately in healthy human volunteers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / blood*
  • Depressive Disorder / blood
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation / methods*


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor