Effect of Maternal Depression on Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor Levels in Fetal Cord Blood

Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci. 2019 May 31;17(2):308-313. doi: 10.9758/cpn.2019.17.2.308.


Objective: : We aimed to assess the association between cord blood brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentration and maternal depression during pregnancy.

Methods: : A total of 48 pregnant women, admitted for elective caesarean section to Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Konya Research and Training Hospital and Konya Necmettin Erbakan University Meram Medical Faculty, were included in this study. The study group included 23 women diagnosed as having depression during pregnancy and the control group included 25 pregnant women who did not experience depression during pregnancy.

Results: : The groups had similar sociodemographic characteristics. Cord blood BDNF concentration was significantly lower in babies born to mothers with major depression as compared with those in the control group. We didn’t find any correlation between the umbilical cord blood BDNF levels and BDI scores.

Conclusion: : The results suggest that the existence of major depression in pregnant women may negatively affect fetal circulating BDNF levels.

Keywords: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Depression; Fetal cord blood; Neurodevelopment; Pregnancy.