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Ratio of Plasma BDNF To Leptin Levels in MDD

A relatively higher ratio of pretreatment plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor (pBDNF) to leptin was associated with greater response in major depressive disorder (MDD) but not in panic disorder (PD), a new study found. 41 patients with MDD, 52 patients and PD, and 59 matched healthy controls were recruited in the 12-week follow-up study. All patients completed 5 visits and both MDD and PD patients had standard pharmacotherapy for 12 weeks. Among the findings:

  • The ratio of pBDNF to leptin was significantly lower in patients with MDD and PD vs healthy controls, but was not associated with severity of depressive or anxiety symptoms.
  • pBDNF:leptin ratio was significantly higher in responders than in nonresponders in MDD but not in PD.
  • In multivariate analysis, pBDNF:leptin ratio was significantly associated with responsiveness.


An JH, et al. Ratio of plasma BDNF to leptin levels are associated with response in major depressive disorder but not in panic disorder: a 12-week follow-up study. [Published online ahead of print August 14, 2019]. J Affective Dis. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2019.08.021.