Assessment of Cortisol, Brain-Derived Neurotropic factor, C - reactive protein, Interleukin-6 levels and cognitive decline after trauma exposure
Background: Studies have found that multiple neurobiological mechanisms are underlying the cause of Posttraumatic stress that influence the nervous and immune system leading to neurodegenerative and psychiatric comorbidities. The present study aims to assess and evaluate the serum Cortisol, C - reactive protein (CRP), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) levels and cognitive decline among subjects with trauma exposure and to determine the relationship between the above-specified stress biomarkers.
Methodology: Two groups with trauma exposure (including natural disaster, any accident, physical and/or verbal violence, or any stressful condition) in the last twelve months were recruited. Groups were majorly divided based on TSC-40 (Trauma Symptom Checklist - 40) scores. Subjects with a TSC score > 40 were kept in the traumatized group, while those with TSC score < 40 were included in the control group. A total of 188 subjects above the age of 18 were recruited following inclusion criteria, cognition was measured using the Six-Item Cognitive Impairment Test (6-CIT), and serum samples were obtained for cortisol, CRP, BDNF, and IL-6 levels.
Results: There was a significant difference in the serum BDNF (P<0.001) level among the traumatized subjects, i.e. 15.68 ± 3.55 ng/dl as compared to controls 26.65 ± 2.47 ng/dl; no significant difference was found in CRP levels (ns) in both groups with a slight increase among the traumatized subjects as compared to the controls, i.e. 4.29 ± 1.50 mg/dl vs. 3.42 ± 1.11 mg/dl. As indicated by the 6-CIT score, the cognitive decline was more pronounced among the traumatized subjects, i.e. 8.54 ± 2.13 compared to the control group 5.0 ± 1.81, with a significant positive difference (p<0.001).
Conclusion: The finding suggests that traumatic stress is associated with Cognitive decline, BDNF and cortisol, whereas a non-significant association was found with IL-6 and CRP levels.
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