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Nerve growth factor in brain diseases

Stefania Ciafrè, Valentina Carito, Giampiero Ferraguti, Antonio Greco, Massimo Ralli, Paola Tirassa, George N. Chaldakov, Marisa Patrizia Messina, Maria Luisa Attilia, Rosaria Ceccarelli, Luigi Tarani, Mauroi Ceccanti, Marco Fiore


The nerve growth factor (NGF) belongs to a family of proteins termed neurotrophins, consisting of NGF, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), NT-4/5 and NT-6. Today, NGF is well recognized to mediate a large number of trophobiological actions resulting in neurotrophic, immunotrophic and/or metabotrophic effects. The pathobiology of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, psychiatric disorders (e.g. depression and schizophrenia) and brain parasitic infections have in common the effect of altering the brain levels of neurotrophins and in particular NGF. The involvement of NGF and its TrkA receptor in these pathologies and the recent promising results of NGF therapies are presented and discussed.


NGF, Alzheimer`s disease, depression, schizophrenia, parasite, alcohol, autism

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About The Authors

Stefania Ciafrè
Institute of Translational Pharmacology, IFT-CNR, Rome, Italy

Valentina Carito
Institute of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, IBCN-CNR, Rome, Italy

Giampiero Ferraguti
Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Department of Experimental Medicine

Antonio Greco
Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Department of Sense Organs

Massimo Ralli
Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Department of Sense Organs

Paola Tirassa
Institute of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, IBCN-CNR, Rome, Italy

George N. Chaldakov
Medical University of Varna

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology

Marisa Patrizia Messina
Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Department of Gynecology, Obstetric, and Urology

Maria Luisa Attilia
Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Centro Riferimento Alcologico Regione Lazio

Rosaria Ceccarelli
Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Centro Riferimento Alcologico Regione Lazio

Luigi Tarani
Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Department of Pediatrics, Medical Faculty

Mauroi Ceccanti
Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Centro Riferimento Alcologico Regione Lazio

Marco Fiore
Institute of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, IBCN-CNR, Rome, Italy

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