Exercise improves depression through positive modulation of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). A review based on 100 manuscripts over 20 years

Monèm Jemni, Rashid Zaman, Frederick Carrick, Neil Clarke, Michel Marina, Lindsay Bottoms, Jagdeep Mathharoo, Roger Ramsbottom, Yaodong Gu, Ferman Konukman

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Abstract

The aim of this review was to explore the relevant neurobiology and the association between peripheral levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and acute and short to long-term exercise regimes, as well as its relation to depression and antidepressant treatment. A 20-years literature search was conducted. The screening process resulted in 100 manuscripts.
Antidepressants as well as acute exercise, particularly high-intensity, elevates BDNF in healthy humans and clinical populations, as evidenced from aerobic and resistance-based studies. Although exercise is increasingly recognised in the management of depression, acute and short-term exercise studies have failed to establish a relationship between the severity of depression and changes in peripheral BDNF. The latter rapidly returns to baseline, possibly indicating a quick re-uptake by the brain, aiding its neuroplasticity functions. The timescale of administration needed for the antidepressants to stimulate biochemical changes is longer than similar increases with acute exercise.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1102526
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Volume14
Early online date8 Mar 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2023

Keywords

  • BDNF expression
  • depression treatment
  • exercise mode
  • neuroplasticity
  • physical activity intervention

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