Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is a gene that encodes for a member of the nerve growth factor family of proteins. It is highly expressed in brain areas involved in mood and cognition.
BDNF acts on both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system helping to support the survival of existing neurons and encourage the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses. This gene helps to stimulate and control neurogenesis, the ability to grow new neurons from neural stem cells, as well as playing an important role in normal neural development.
When this protein binds to its cognate receptor, it promotes the neuronal survival in the adult brain.
Mutations in this gene are associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
One SNP (SNPid rs6265) results in an amino acid change in the starting region of the protein (Val66Met), and the mutation disrupts how the protein moves around and gets released in brain cells.
This gene has been chosen by our experts to be analyzed in several panels of our product portfolio: