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 Robert Carrick, Neil David Clarke, Michel Marina, Lindsay Bottoms, Jagdeep Singh Matharoo, Roger Ramsbottom, Norman Hoffman, Shad James Groves, Yaodong Gu, Ferman Konukman

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    48 Downloads (Pure)

    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-year 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
    JournalFrontiers in Physiology
    Volume14
    Early online date8 Mar 2023
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Mar 2023

    Bibliographical note

    © 2023 Jemni, Zaman, Carrick, Clarke, Marina, Bottoms, Matharoo, Ramsbottom, Hoffman, Groves, Gu and Konukman. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

    Funder

    This study is the fruit of a collaborative project between medical experts, psychiatric consultants, neuroscientists and exercise physiologists representing leading institutions from different countries and continents. Publisher Copyright: Copyright © 2023 Jemni, Zaman, Carrick, Clarke, Marina, Bottoms, Matharoo, Ramsbottom, Hoffman, Groves, Gu and Konukman.

    Keywords

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

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