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Differential Effects of Physical Exercise, Cognitive Training, and Mindfulness Practice on Serum BDNF Levels in Healthy Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Intervention Study
Univ Denver, USA.
Karolinska Univ Hosp, Sweden;Karolinska Inst, Sweden.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, ISSN 1387-2877, E-ISSN 1875-8908, Vol. 71, no 4, p. 1245-1261Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous studies have indicated that an active lifestyle is associated with better brain health and a longer life, compared to a more sedentary lifestyle. These studies, both on human and animal subjects, have typically focused on a single activity, usually physical exercise, but other activities have received an increasing interest. One proposed mechanism is that physical exercise increases levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brain. For the first time, the long-term effects on serum BDNF levels were compared in persons who engaged in either physical exercise training, cognitive training, or mindfulness practice during 5 weeks, and compared with an active control group. Two cohorts of healthy older individuals, one from the Boston area in the US and one from the Vaxjo area in Sweden, participated. A total of 146 participants were randomly assigned to one of the four groups. All interventions were structurally similar, using interactive, computer-based software that directed participants to carry out specified activities for 35 minutes/day, 5 days per week for 5 weeks. Blood samples were obtained at baseline and soon after the completion of the 5-week long intervention program, and serum BDNF levels were measured using a commercially available ELISA. Only the group that underwent cognitive training increased their serum BDNF levels after 5 weeks of training (F-1,F-74 = 4.22, p = 0.044, partial eta(2) = 0.054), corresponding to an average 10% increase. These results strongly suggest that cognitive training can exert beneficial effects on brain health in an older adult population.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IOS Press, 2019. Vol. 71, no 4, p. 1245-1261
Keywords [en]
Aging, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, cognitive training, mindfulness, physical exercise
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-89872DOI: 10.3233/JAD-190756ISI: 000490569300017PubMedID: 31498125OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-89872DiVA, id: diva2:1366900
Available from: 2019-10-31 Created: 2019-10-31 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved

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Carlsson, RogerTewele, Mhretab KidaneTerjestam, YvonneMohammed, Abdul K. H.

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