Document Detail

Exercise is brain food: the effects of physical activity on cognitive function.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18781504     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This commentary reviews selected biomedical and clinical research examining the relationship between physical exercise and cognitive function especially in youth with disability. Youth with physical disability may not benefit from the effects of exercise on cardiovascular fitness and brain health since they are less active than their non-disabled peers. In animal models, physical activity enhances memory and learning, promotes neurogenesis and protects the nervous system from injury and neurodegenerative disease. Neurotrophins, endogenous proteins that support brain plasticity likely mediate the beneficial effects of exercise on the brain. In clinical studies, exercise increases brain volume in areas implicated in executive processing, improves cognition in children with cerebral palsy and enhances phonemic skill in school children with reading difficulty. Studies examining the intensity of exercise required to optimize neurotrophins suggest that moderation is important. Sustained increases in neurotrophin levels occur with prolonged low intensity exercise, while higher intensity exercise, in a rat model of brain injury, elevates the stress hormone, corticosterone. Clearly, moderate physical activity is important for youth whose brains are highly plastic and perhaps even more critical for young people with physical disability.
Michelle Ploughman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Developmental neurorehabilitation     Volume:  11     ISSN:  1751-8431     ISO Abbreviation:  Dev Neurorehabil     Publication Date:  2008 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-09-10     Completed Date:  2008-12-29     Revised Date:  2009-12-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101304394     Medline TA:  Dev Neurorehabil     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  236-40     Citation Subset:  IM    
Clinical Research, Rehabilitation Program, Eastern Health Authority, St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Brain / metabolism*,  physiology
Cognition / physiology*
Exercise / physiology*
Motor Activity / physiology
Nerve Degeneration / prevention & control*
Nerve Growth Factors / metabolism
Nervous System Diseases / pathology,  prevention & control*
Neurogenesis / physiology
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Sensitivity and Specificity
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Nerve Growth Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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