brain-derived neurotrophic factor

noun

Medical Definition of brain-derived neurotrophic factor 

: a neuropeptide that regulates the growth, survival, and differentiation of neurons and that affects synaptic plasticity especially by mediating long-term potentiation Brain-derived neurotrophic factor … is critical for axonal growth, neuronal survival, and synaptic plasticity, and its levels are affected by stress and cortisol.— R. H. Belmaker and Galila Agam, The New England Journal of Medicine, 3 Jan. 2008 Out of the variety of neurotrophic factors released during exercise, however, scientists found that one in particular stood out: brain-derived neurotrophic factor— Christen Brownlee, Science News, 25 Feb. 2006 abbreviation BDNF

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