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Original Article

NYS. 2014; 52(1): 12-16

Investigation of the serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor in patients with alopecia areata: a preliminary study

Gamze Erfan, Yakup Albayrak, M. Emin Yanık, Cüneyt Ünsal, Hayati Güneş, Mustafa Kulaç, Murat Kuloğlu.


Objectives: Alopecia areata (AA) is an asymptomatic hair loss; with mostly single, well-defined patches and in-group of non-scarring alopecia. There have been numerous studies that reported high percentages of psychiatric comorbidity in patients with alopecia areata. Beside these studies, to our knowledge there has been no study that researched a psychiatric biomarker such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in first onset alopecia areata patients.
Method: This study was conducted in Namık Kemal University Medical Faculty, Departments of Dermatology and Psychiatry between March 2013 and September 2014. After inclusion and exclusion criteria, 60 patients with first onset AA who have no current and past psychiatric disorder and 60 age-sex matched healthy subjects were compared in terms of serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
Results: The age and female /male ratio were found to be insignificant between groups. The mean values of serum BDNF were 2.13±1.71 ng/dl and 2.32±1.93 ng/dl in AA group and in healthy control group respectively. The mean BDNF level was found to be similar between groups (t=2.76, p=0.61).
Conclusions: According to our knowledge, this study is the first to compare serum BDNF between patients with first onset alopecia areata and healthy subjects. Our study might indicate that patients with alopecia areata have similar serum BDNF levels compared with normal population. Nonetheless, further studies are needed to support our preliminary results.

Key words: BDNF, alopecia, biomarker

Article Language: Turkish English

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