Effect of Lithium on Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) Level in Patients with Ischemic Stroke: A Clinical Trial

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Neurology Department of Ahwaz Jundishapour University of Medical Sciences

2 Cardiovascular Research Center of Ahwaz Jundishapour University of Medical Sciences


Background and Objectives: Previous studies have indicated that lithium may increase the level of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which in turn improves the recovery of patients with stroke. In this controlled trial we evaluated the effect of lithium on BDNF serum level in patients with ischemic stroke.
Methods: In this randomized controlled trial (IRCT2013110515290N1), 46 patients with ischemic stroke in the territory of middle cerebral artery in lithium group who received aspirin (80 mg/d), atorvastatin (20 mg/d), folic acid (1mg/d), physiotherapy (10 sessions) and lithium carbonate (300 mg /BD/30d) 48 hours after stroke, were compared with 47 patients in the control group who received the same treatment regimen except lithium, in terms of the level of BDNF at 5 and 30 days after treatment,
Findings: TheBDNF level after 30 days of treatment was found to be significantly higher in lithium group compared with control group. No significant difference in mortality rate between the two groups was identified.
Conclusions: We obtained further indications for the positive effect of lithium on BDNF level. Administration of lithium carbonate, therefore, may provide an inexpensive approach to reduced rate of stroke-induced disability and improved patient outcome.