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Neurodegenerative diseases: what are the impacts of the exercise? A systematic review and meta-analysis of experimental models


The neurophysiological effects of exercise on brain and behavior and its mechanistic basis deserve clarification.


This review and metanalysis examines the strength of scientific evidence on how exercise modifies brain and behavior in healthy mice, in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson disease (PD) models


Search (PubMed) included the words: “mice”, “treadmill”, “exercise”, “physical exercise”, “cognition”, “brain”, “depression”, “anxiety”, “memory”, “learning” or “behavior”


In most studies, animals (N=1,172; 96 articles) exercised 4-8 weeks, 60 min/day and 10/12m/min. Hippocampus followed by cerebral cortex, striatum and whole brain were more frequently investigated. Exercise improved learning and memory. Meta-analysis showed that exercise increased: cerebral BDNF, TrkB levels and neurogenesis. Exercise augmented amyloid clearance and reduced amyloid plaques in AD models. In PD models, dopaminergic neurons were increased. Evidence regarding inflammation, oxidative stress and energy metabolism were scarce. Studies on acute versus chronic exercise, extreme training and the durability of exercise benefit were rare.


In conclusion, meta-analysis showed that exercise had positive effects on brain and behavior, directly and indirectly related to neurogenesis in healthy and dementia models. Exercise reduced toxicity and inhibited amyloid pathology in AD model. Few studies on PD models were reported. Vascular or glucose metabolism changes were rarely reported. The underpinning mechanism explaining exercise benefits on brain tissue needs clarification.


Treadmill exercise; Brain; Cognition; Neurogenesis; Neurological disorders.


Área Básica


Thiago Medeiros da Costa Daniele, Robson Salviano de Matos, Pedro Felipe Carvalhedo de Bruin, Gabriela Sales de Bruin, Caio Vieira Nunes, Júlio César Chaves Nunes Filho, Veralice Meireles Sales de Bruin