Cognitive deficit is related to immune-cell beta-NGF in multiple sclerosis patients

Alicja Kalinowska-Łyszczarz, Mikołaj A. Pawlak, Sławomir Michalak, Jacek Losy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory demyelinating and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS), causing cognitive impairment in 45-65% of patients. Beta-NGF facilitates proper cholinergic transmission in the healthy CNS. In MS-damaged tissue there is a relative deficit of neurotrophins that might be compensated by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) synthesis. Our aim was to evaluate the relationship between PBMCs neurotrophins' expression and cognitive performance in relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients. Patients and methods: Beta-NGF, NT-3 and NT-4/5 levels were measured in sera and in PBMCs by ELISA method in 41 RRMS patients in remission. All patients underwent neuropsychological assessment with a battery of 10 tests evaluating a wide range of cognitive functions. Results: PBMCs beta-NGF concentration correlated significantly with spontaneous word list generation test (Pearson R = 0.37, p = 0.02) and 15-Word List Recall Test results (Pearson R = 0.40, p < 0.00). Both tests assessing semantic memory correlated significantly with the cognitive composite score, defined as a number of tests in which patients performed below group median for the given test. Conclusions: In RRMS beta-NGF is strongly linked to cognitive performance, which makes it an attractive therapeutic target. It might play a neuroprotective role in MS, especially in the cognitive domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-48
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 15 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neurotrophic factors
  • Neurotrophins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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