Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2016 Feb;14(1):43-48. 10.9758/cpn.2016.14.1.43.

Serum Levels of Growth Factors in Alcohol-dependent Patients according to Comorbid Depressive Symptoms

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Ansan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Neuropsychiatry, Hanyang University College of Medicine and Institute of Mental Health, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Neuropsychiatry, Keyo Hospital, Uiwang, Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.


This study aims to reveal the relationship of depression with growth factors such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in inpatients diagnosed with alcohol dependence, and to identify candidate growth factors as biological markers to indicate the comorbid of alcohol dependence and depression.
This study examined demographic factors in 45 alcohol-dependent patients. The ADS (Korean version of the Alcohol Dependence Scale) and BDI (Korean version of Beck's Depression Inventory) were used. BDNF, NGF, and IGF-1 were measured through ELISA.
The average drinking quantity and the ADS score were significantly more severe in alcohol-dependent patients with depression than in those without depression. Linearly comparing BDNF, NGF, and IGF-1 with BDI values, IGF-1 was the growth factor significantly correlated with BDI scores. BDI scores were significantly correlated with ADS scores. IGF-1 was significantly higher in alcohol-dependent patients with depression. Alcohol-dependent patients with depression had greater alcohol use and more severe ADS scores. BDNF and NGF showed no significant difference between alcohol-dependent patients with and without depression, but IGF-1 was significantly higher in those with than in those without depression.
IGF-1 was found to be associated with depression in alcohol-dependent patients, suggesting that IGF-1 in alcohol-dependent patients could be an important biomarker to indicate whether alcohol-dependence is accompanied by depression.


Alcohol dependence; Depression; Growth factor; Insulin-like growth factor-1
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