Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor is a protein found in the brain. Brain Derived indicates that it is created in the brain and Neurotrophic Factor implies that the molecule helps create new nerve cell growth. Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor is more easily referred to as BDNF and increases neurogenesis.
Studies indicate that levels of BDNF vary among individuals and lower levels of BDNF are associated with increased levels of Stroke, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Depression and Anxiety to name a few. There are a number of ways in which it is possible to raise the body's levels of BDNF. Exercise is a good way of increasing levels as is fasting or intermittent fasting. A popular type of fasting called Caloric Restriction or CR has been shown to induce a call to action by the brain to start producing more BDNF as possibly a survival strategy on the part of the brain.
Curcumin has also been shown to increase levels of BDNF as a study using rats conducted by the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida showed. The study entitled 'Curcumin reverses impaired hippocampal neurogenesis and increases serotonin receptor 1A mRNA and brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in chronically stressed rat' found that Curcumin was able to increase the levels of BDFN in the brains of rats.