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The role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in cognitive functions

Dedi Silakarma , Anak Agung Raka Sudewi

Dedi Silakarma
Physical and Medical Rehabilitation Department, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Udayana, Sanglah General Hospital, Bali. Indonesia. Email: ngrhdedi@gmail.com

Anak Agung Raka Sudewi
Neurology Departement, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Udayana, Sanglah General Hospital, Bali, Indonesia
Online First: August 01, 2019 | Cite this Article
Silakarma, D., Sudewi, A. 2019. The role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in cognitive functions. Bali Medical Journal 8(2). DOI:10.15562/bmj.v8i2.1460


Nerve growth factor (NGF) was uncovered in near beginning the 1950s which had a growth effect on sympathetic and sensory neurons. In the dorsal root neuron ganglion, the second member of a group of neurotrophic factors widely known as the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) appeared. Like other members of the neurotrophin group, such as neurotrophin 3 (NT-3) and NT-4/5, it is explained to have trophic effects on peripheral and central neurons. Since BDNF purification in 1982 evidence of its involvement in development, physiology, and brain pathology demonstrated. BNDF is significant within the molecular mechanism of synapse plasticity regarding neuronal growth and cell survival. The initial step associated with the central nervous system depends on its adaption of synapse transmission, especially in the hippocampus and neocortex. Pathological intensities of the BDNF relationship and synapse plasticity affect sort of situations such as epilepsy and chronic pain sensitization, where BDNF applications can affect therapy in neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychiatric diseases. BDNF plays a pivotal role in cognitive processes, affecting the advancement and brain structures’ motion. Predominantly in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, by modulating synaptic neurotransmission, it changes the plasticity and proliferation of neurons through regulation of neuronal migration processes such as differentiation, perseveration, neuronal modification and replacement of synaptic structures. BDNF also affects the development of dopaminergic, serotonergic, cholinergic and GABAergic. BDNF further causes rapid postsynaptic reactions in ion channels and N-Methyl D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptors. BDNF as a vital component in the normal functioning of the brain is one of the neurotrophins that contributes to the development, maintenance of function and healthy neuron cells and cynical plasticity.

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