Background: Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) and depressive disorder often co-exist and have a shared heritability. This study aimed to investigate Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and three Cell Adhesion Molecules (CAMs) as transdiagnostic biomarkers in AUD and depression co-morbidity. Methods: In a cross-sectional study, patients with AUD (n=22), AUD and depression (n=19), and healthy controls (n=20) were examined. Depression and anxiety severity were assessed using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. Anhedonia, alcohol use and dependence, craving, and social adaptation were assessed through self-report questionnaires. BDNF and CAM concentrations in peripheral serum were measured after overnight fasting using a Luminex assay. After controlling for age and gender, biomarker levels were compared across groups. The association between biomarker concentrations and symptom severity scales were explored using correlation and multiple regression analyses. Results: BDNF and Neuronal CAM were lower in patients with AUD with and without depression compared to healthy controls. No differences were observed for Vascular CAM-1 and Interstitial CAM-1. BDNF correlated negatively with anhedonia levels. BDNF, age and gender together explained 21% of variability in anhedonia levels. Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that peripheral levels of BDNF and NCAM might be reduced in AUD with and without comorbid mood disorder. Since low BDNF levels were associated with self- reported anhedonia across these conditions, BDNF and anhedonia might reflect transdiagnostic aspects involved in AUD and depression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health