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J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;32(4):1011-8. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2012-121078.

Exercise-induced noradrenergic activation enhances memory consolidation in both normal aging and patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

Author information

1
Center for Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA. ssegal@uci.edu

Abstract

Post-trial pharmacological activation of the noradrenergic system can facilitate memory consolidation. Because exercise activates the locus coeruleus and increases brain norepinephrine release, we hypothesized that post-trial exercise could function as a natural stimulus to enhance memory consolidation. We investigated this in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and cognitively normal elderly individuals by examining the effects of an acute bout of post-learning, aerobic exercise (6 minutes at 70% VO2 max on a stationary bicycle) on memory for some emotional images. Exercise significantly elevated endogenous norepinephrine (measured via the biomarker, salivary alpha-amylase) in both aMCI patients and controls. Additionally, exercise retrogradely enhanced memory in both aMCI patients and controls. Acute exercise that activates the noradrenergic system may serve as a beneficial, natural, and practical therapeutic intervention for cognitive decline in the aging population.

PMID:
22914593
PMCID:
PMC3951984
DOI:
10.3233/JAD-2012-121078
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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