Serum bdnf’s role as a biomarker for motor training in the context of ar-based rehabilitation after ischemic stroke

Ekaterina S. Koroleva, Ivan V. Tolmachev, Valentina M. Alifirova, Anastasiia S. Boiko, Lyudmila A. Levchuk, Anton J.M. Loonen, Svetlana A. Ivanova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may play a role during neurorehabilitation following ischemic stroke. This study aimed to elucidate the possible role of BDNF during early recovery from ischemic stroke assisted by motor training. Methods: fifty patients were included after acute recovery from ischemic stroke: 21 first received classical rehabilitation followed by ‘motor rehabilitation using motion sensors and augmented reality’ (AR-rehabilitation), 14 only received AR-rehabilitation, and 15 were only observed. Serum BDNF levels were measured on the first day of stroke, on the 14th day, before AR-based rehabilitation (median, 45th day), and after the AR-based rehabilitation (median, 82nd day). Motor impairment was quantified clinically using the Fugl–Meyer scale (FMA); functional disability and activities of daily living (ADL) were measured using the Modified Rankin Scale (mRS). For comparison, serum BDNF was measured in 50 healthy individuals. Results: BDNF levels were found to significantly increase during the phase with AR-based rehabilitation. The pattern of the sequentially measured BDNF levels was similar in the treated patients. Untreated patients had significantly lower BDNF levels at the endpoint. Conclusions: the fluctuations of BDNF levels are not consistently related to motor improvement but seem to react to active treatment. Without active rehabilitation treatment, BDNF tends to decrease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number623
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Augmented reality (AR)-biofeedback motion training
  • BDNF
  • Functional rewiring
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Long-term potentiation
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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