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Lab Invest. 2019 Feb 26. doi: 10.1038/s41374-019-0232-y. [Epub ahead of print]

The beneficial effects of physical exercise in the brain and related pathophysiological mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Diseases, School of Biomedical Sciences, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
2
Department of Anaesthesiology, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
3
School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR.
4
Department of Anaesthesiology, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. gordon@hku.hk.
5
Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Diseases, School of Biomedical Sciences, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. rccchang@hku.hk.
6
State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. rccchang@hku.hk.

Abstract

Growing evidence has shown the beneficial influence of exercise on humans. Apart from classic cardioprotection, numerous studies have demonstrated that different exercise regimes provide a substantial improvement in various brain functions. Although the underlying mechanism is yet to be determined, emerging evidence for neuroprotection has been established in both humans and experimental animals, with most of the valuable findings in the field of mental health, neurodegenerative diseases, and acquired brain injuries. This review will discuss the recent findings of how exercise could ameliorate brain function in neuropathological states, demonstrated by either clinical or laboratory animal studies. Simultaneously, state-of-the-art molecular mechanisms underlying the exercise-induced neuroprotective effects and comparison between different types of exercise will be discussed in detail. A majority of reports show that physical exercise is associated with enhanced cognition throughout different populations and remains as a fascinating area in scientific research because of its universal protective effects in different brain domain functions. This article is to review what we know about how physical exercise modulates the pathophysiological mechanisms of neurodegeneration.

PMID:
30808929
DOI:
10.1038/s41374-019-0232-y

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