Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2016 Feb;14(1):109-113. 10.9758/cpn.2016.14.1.109.

Cocaine-induced Psychosis and Brain-derived Neurothrophic Factor in Patients with Cocaine Dependence: Report of Two Cases

  • 1Addictions and Dual Diagnosis Unit, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital-Public Health Agency of Barcelona (ASPB), Centro de Investigacion Biomedica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM), Barcelona, Spain.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, CIBERSAM, Barcelona, Spain.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry and Legal Medicine, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is linked to numerous brain functions. In addition, BDNF alterations contribute to neurological, mental, and addictive disorders. Cocaine dependence has received much attention recently due to its prevalence and psychological effects. Symptoms of psychosis are one of the most serious adverse events precipitated by cocaine use. It is particularly important to identify patients at risk of developing cocaine-induced psychosis (CIP). We described two cases of patients with cocaine dependence who presented with CIP and had changes in their BDNF levels during the psychotic episode. BDNF levels were initially low in both patients, and then decreased by more than 50% in association with CIP. The relationship between BDNF and psychosis is described in the literature. These cases revealed that BDNF levels decreased during a CIP episode and, thus, it is necessary to investigate BDNF and its relationship with CIP further.


Cocaine-induced psychosis; Cocaine dependence; Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Biological marker; Psychosis
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