Association of plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels and frailty in community-dwelling older adults

Eun Roh, Soon Young Hwang, Eyun Song, Min Jeong Park, Hye Jin Yoo, Sei Hyun Baik, Miji Kim, Chang Won Won, Kyung Mook Choi

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), an exercise-induced neurotrophin, is an important factor in memory consolidation and cognitive function. This study evaluates the association between plasma BDNF levels and frailty in community-dwelling older adults. Plasma BDNF levels were analyzed in a total of 302 individuals aged 70–84 years from the Korean Frailty and Aging Cohort Study. There were 30 (9.9%) participants with frailty. They were older and had a higher prevalence of dementia and depression than those without frailty. There were no differences in the proportion of male sex between the frail and non-frail groups. Plasma BDNF levels were significantly lower in participants with frailty than in those without frailty. The presence of frailty was significantly associated with plasma BDNF levels (odds ratio 0.508, 95% confidence interval 0.304–0.849) as well as age, hemoglobin, and the presence of dementia, and depression. After adjustment for confounding factors, the significant association between plasma BDNF and frailty was maintained (0.495, 0.281–0.874). This association remained consistent after exclusion of individuals with dementia, depression, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Plasma BDNF levels were significantly associated with frailty in community-dwelling older adults. Our study may suggest the possible role of BDNF as a novel biomarker of frailty.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18605
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the Korea Health Technology R & D Project through the Korean Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), which is funded by the Ministry of Health &; Welfare, Republic of Korea (Grant number: HI15C3153), and the Research Program funded by the National Institute of Health, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (2021-ER0605-00). This work was also supported by Korea University Guro Hospital (Korea Research-Driven Hospital) and grant funded by Korea University Medicine (K2210431) and a grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education of Korea (Grant number: 2020R1I1A1A01070499). The funders had no role in the study's design, collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data or the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

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