BACKGROUND: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a critical role in sensorimotor recovery after a stroke. However, few studies have assessed the circulating BDNF levels in post-stroke humans to understand its changes. This study was conducted to measure BDNF serum concentrations in subjects with chronic hemiparesis, as well as to correlate serum concentrations with age, post-stroke time, total score of Stroke Specific Quality of Life Scale (SS-QOL), mobility subscale score, and motor function of SS-QOL.METHODS: Seventeen chronic post-stroke subjects matched by age and gender with healthy controls took part in the study. Personal data (age, hemiparesis side, and post-stroke time) were collected, and a physical examination (weight, height, body mass index) and SS-QOL assessment were carried out. On the same day, after the initial evaluation, venous blood samples were collected from the chronic post-stroke subjects and the healthy subjects. The BDNF serum concentrations were measured blindly by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.RESULTS: Subjects with chronic hemiparesis presented a decrease in BDNF serum compared with healthy subjects (P < .01). There was no correlation between BDNF serum levels with post-stroke time, age or quality of life, mobility, and the upper extremity motor function (P > .05). BDNF concentrations are related to structural and functional recovery after stroke; thus, this reduction is important to understand the rehabilitation process more clearly. However, more studies are needed considering the genetic variations and other tools to assess motor impairment and functional independence.CONCLUSION: Chronic post-stroke subjects presented a decrease in BDNF serum concentrations, without a correlation with post-stroke time, age, and quality of life.