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Current Alzheimer Research


ISSN (Print): 1567-2050
ISSN (Online): 1875-5828

Review Article

Is Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor: A Common Link Between Neurodegenerative Disorders and Cancer?

Author(s): Radhika Khosla, Avijit Banik, Sushant Kaushal, Priya Battu, Deepti Gupta and Akshay Anand*

Volume 16, Issue 4, 2019

Page: [344 - 352] Pages: 9

DOI: 10.2174/1567205016666190408123947

Price: $65


Background: Cancer is a common disease caused by the excessive proliferation of cells, and neurodegenerative diseases are the disorders caused due to the degeneration of neurons. Both can be considered as diseases caused by the dysregulation of cell cycle events. A recent data suggests that there is a strong inverse association between cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. There is indirect evidence to postulate Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) as a potential molecular link in this association.

Discussion: The BDNF levels are found to be downregulated in many neurodegenerative disorders and are found to be upregulated in various kinds of cancers. The lower level of BDNF in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease has been found to be related to cognitive and other neuropsychological impairments, whereas, its higher levels are associated with the tumour growth and metastasis and poor survival rate in the cancer patients.

Conclusion: In this review, we propose that variance in BDNF levels is critical in determining the course of cellular pathophysiology and the development of cancer or neurodegenerative disorder. We further propose that an alternative therapeutic strategy that can modulate BDNF expression, can rescue or prevent above said pathophysiological course. Larger studies that examine this link through animal studies are imperative to understand the putative biochemical and molecular link to wellness and disease.

Keywords: BDNF, homeostasis, neurodegenerative disorders, BDNF/TrkB cascade, alternative therapy, Alzheimer's disease.

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