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The nerve growth factor (NGF) belongs to a family of proteins named neurotrophins, consisting of NGF, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), NT-4/5 and NT-6. NGF regulates a large number of physiological mechanisms that result in neurotrophic, metabotrophic and/or immunotrophic effects. Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, psychiatric disorders (e.g. depression and schizophrenia) and brain parasitic infection have in common the effect of changing the brain levels of neurotrophins, in particular NGF. The contribution of both NGF and its receptor TrkA in such events and the recent promising results of NGF based therapies are here presented and discussed.


Stefania Ciafrè, Giampiero Ferraguti, Paola Tirassa, Angela Iannitelli, Massimo Ralli, Antonio Greco, George N Chaldakov, Pamela Rosso, Elena Fico, Marisa Patrizia Messina, Valentina Carito, Luigi Tarani, Mauro Ceccanti, Marco Fiore. Nerve growth factor in the psychiatric brain. Rivista di psichiatria. 2020 Jan-Feb;55(1):4-15

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PMID: 32051620

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