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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 8, 2021

Emphasizing roles of BDNF promoters and inducers in Alzheimer's disease for improving impaired cognition and memory

  • Madhuparna Banerjee and Rekha R. Shenoy EMAIL logo


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a crucial neurotrophic factor adding to neurons’ development and endurance. The amount of BDNF present in the brain determines susceptibility to various neurodegenerative diseases. In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), often it is seen that low levels of BDNF are present, which primarily contributes to cognition deficit by regulating long-term potentiation (LTP) and synaptic plasticity. Molecular mechanisms underlying the synthesis, storage and release of BDNF are widely studied. New molecules are found, which contribute to the signal transduction pathway. Two important receptors of BDNF are TrkB and p75NTR. When BDNF binds to the TrkB receptor, it activates three main signalling pathways-phospholipase C, MAPK/ERK, PI3/AKT. BDNF holds an imperative part in LTP and dendritic development, which are essential for memory formation. BDNF supports synaptic integrity by influencing LTP and LTD. This action is conducted by modulating the glutamate receptors; AMPA and NMDA. This review paper discusses the aforesaid points along with inducers of BDNF. Drugs and herbals promote neuroprotection by increasing the hippocampus’ BDNF level in various disease-induced animal models for neurodegeneration. Advancement in finding pertinent molecules contributing to the BDNF signalling pathway has been discussed, along with the areas that require further research and study.

Corresponding author: Rekha R. Shenoy, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, MadhavNagar, Manipal 576104, Udupi District, Karnataka, India, Phone: 91-820-2922482, 91-820-2922433, Fax: 91-820-2571998, E-mail:


Authors acknowledge for creation of figures incorporated in the review article.

  1. Research funding: Not applicable.

  2. Author contributions: Authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.

  4. Informed consent: Not applicable.

  5. Ethical approval: Not applicable.


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Received: 2021-06-17
Accepted: 2021-10-11
Published Online: 2021-11-08

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