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View Full Version : Anerobic but not aerobic exercise improves cognition


Neal Winkler
03-30-2007, 06:48 PM
Check out this (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17185007&query_hl=4&itool=pubmed_docsum) gem I just found. The abstract follows:

Regular physical exercise improves cognitive functions and lowers the risk for age-related cognitive decline. Since little is known about the nature and the timing of the underlying mechanisms, we probed whether exercise also has immediate beneficial effects on cognition. Learning performance was assessed directly after high impact anaerobic sprints, low impact aerobic running, or a period of rest in 27 healthy subjects in a randomized cross-over design. Dependent variables comprised learning speed as well as immediate (1 week) and long-term (>8 months) overall success in acquiring a novel vocabulary. Peripheral levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and catecholamines (dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine) were assessed prior to and after the interventions as well as after learning. We found that vocabulary learning was 20 percent faster after intense physical exercise as compared to the other two conditions. This condition also elicited the strongest increases in BDNF and catecholamine levels. More sustained BDNF levels during learning after intense exercise were related to better short-term learning success, whereas absolute dopamine and epinephrine levels were related to better intermediate (dopamine) and long-term (epinephrine) retentions of the novel vocabulary. Thus, BDNF and two of the catecholamines seem to be mediators by which physical exercise improves learning.

Joggers beware...

Mike ODonnell
03-30-2007, 07:38 PM
so jogging makes you dumber?? That would explain some of the outfits I see going down the road.....I hate jogging....but Running is fun...unless there is a chance of me laying on the ground after and puking....I won't even attempt it....sprinting....biking....lifting heavy...and drinking....all fall right into line....ok the last one I really am too old to be doing it....but ahhhh my younger years....what I barely remember....

Robb Wolf
03-31-2007, 07:52 AM
Nice find Neal.
Graft some CRAN or intermittent fasting onto that and BDNF and catecholamines increase further I'd suspect.

Neal Winkler
04-11-2007, 04:20 PM
Here (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17414812&query_hl=6&itool=pubmed_docsum) we go again!

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is one of a family of neurotrophic factors that participates in neuronal transmission, modulation and plasticity. Previous studies using animals have demonstrated that acute and chronic exercise leads to increases in BDNF in various brain regions. PURPOSE:: To determine the effects of acute exercise on serum BDNF levels in humans, and to determine the relationship between exercise intensity and BDNF responses. Additionally, the relationship between changes in BDNF and cognitive function was examined. METHODS:: Fifteen subjects (25.4 +/- 1.01 yr; 11 male, 4 female) performed a graded exercise test (GXT) for the determination of V O2max and ventilatory threshold (VTh) on a cycle ergometer. On separate days, two subsequent 30-min endurance rides were performed at 20% below the VTh (VTh - 20) and at 10% above the VTh (VTh + 10). Serum BDNF and cognitive function were determined before and after the GXT and endurance rides with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the Stroop tests, respectively. RESULTS:: The mean V O2max was 2805.8 +/- 164.3 mL.min (104.2 +/- 7.0% pred). BDNF values (pg.mL) increased from baseline (P < 0.05) after exercise at the VTh + 10 (13%) and the GXT (30%). There was no significant change in BDNF from baseline after the VTh - 20. Changes in BDNF did not correlate with V O2max during the GXT, but they did correlate with changes in lactate (r = 0.57; P < 0.05). Cognitive function scores improved after all exercise conditions, but they did not correlate with BDNF changes. CONCLUSION:: BDNF levels in humans are significantly elevated in response to exercise, and the magnitude of increase is exercise intensity dependent. Given that BDNF can transit the blood-brain barrier in both directions, the intensity-dependent findings may aid in designing exercise prescriptions for maintaining or improving neurological health.

See that? Only changes in lactate correspond to changes in BDNF. Score one more for high intensity exercise.

kevin mckay
04-12-2007, 07:45 PM
so jogging makes you dumber?? That would explain some of the outfits I see going down the road.....I hate jogging....but Running is fun...unless there is a chance of me laying on the ground after and puking....I won't even attempt it....sprinting....biking....lifting heavy...and drinking....all fall right into line....ok the last one I really am too old to be doing it....but ahhhh my younger years....what I barely remember....

LOL