Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is associated with depression, pain, or sleep disorders, factors that are thought to be involved in the pathogenesis and clinical course of Crohn’s disease (CD). Therefore, the study aimed at assessing the BDNF serum level in patients with CD and evaluates the effect of anti-TNF-α therapy on the BDNF level and its impact on sleep, mood, and pain parameters.
Fifty-eight CD patients and 26 healthy controls (HC) were included in the study. The severity of insomnia symptoms was assessed by the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS). Subjective pain intensity was estimated by the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Laitinen Pain Scale. Mood level was measured using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Seventeen patients were treated with anti-TNF-α therapy for 14 weeks and were re-examined after treatment.
CD patients had a higher serum BDNF level than HC (P = .010). No correlation between clinical severity and BDNF was found. There were positive correlations between the BDNF level and the results of AIS (r = 0.253, P = .020), the severity of pain measured using the VAS (r = 0.251, P = .021) and the Laitinen Pain Scale (r = 0.218, P = .047), but not BDI. No differences were observed in the BDNF level before and after 14 weeks of anti-TNF-α therapy.
Increased BDNF level in CD patients suggests that it may be involved in the pathogenesis and clinical course of the disease. Further research into BDNF might contribute to a better understanding of the effects of sleep and pain on the course of CD.

© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.