Exercise enhances learning and hippocampal neurogenesis in aged mice

Laboratory of Genetics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.75). 10/2005; 25(38):8680-5. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1731-05.2005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Aging causes changes in the hippocampus that may lead to cognitive decline in older adults. In young animals, exercise increases hippocampal neurogenesis and improves learning. We investigated whether voluntary wheel running would benefit mice that were sedentary until 19 months of age. Specifically, young and aged mice were housed with or without a running wheel and injected with bromodeoxyuridine or retrovirus to label newborn cells. After 1 month, learning was tested in the Morris water maze. Aged runners showed faster acquisition and better retention of the maze than age-matched controls. The decline in neurogenesis in aged mice was reversed to 50% of young control levels by running. Moreover, fine morphology of new neurons did not differ between young and aged runners, indicating that the initial maturation of newborn neurons was not affected by aging. Thus, voluntary exercise ameliorates some of the deleterious morphological and behavioral consequences of aging.

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    ABSTRACT: Aims This article summarizes the literature on some of the biological mechanisms involved in Alzheimer disease and their evolution in the context of non-pharmacological interventions. Actuality Regular aerobic physical activity and enriched environment are two methods derived from the metabolic hypothesis and the cognitive enrichment hypothesis respectively. Their effects on aerobic fitness, cardiorespiratory function, brain structure and cognition are clearly established in the aging process in humans and animals. In the field of Alzheimer's disease, these methods might halt mitochondrial, amyloidogenic and tau pathophysiological development. Perspectives In elderly patients, the use of exergames (active video games) develops in order to make physicals activities more attractive. These new technologies, with high potential, would propose simultaneously aerobic activity in an enriched environment. Intervention research on the feasibility and the effects of these exergames for Alzheimer patients may be a way forward. Conclusion We propose to use serious (exer)games to stimulate Alzheimer patients. These serious games, being specifically developed for Alzheimer patients, would be to integrate high intensity aerobic activity and enriched environment into a ludic and accessible therapy.
    Science & Sports 12/2014; 30(1). DOI:10.1016/j.scispo.2014.03.005 · 0.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background and Objectives: Decreased hippocampal volume in older adults is associated with neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases. Several modifiable risk factors have been associated with the size of this structure, however the relative contribution of these factors to hippocampal atrophy is unclear. This study aimed to examine the relationship between modifiable risk factors and hippocampal volume in older adults at risk of cognitive decline. Methods: Two hundred and eighteen participants (mean age = 67.3 years, MMSE = 28.6) with mood and/or memory complaints underwent clinical and neuropsychological assessment, and magnetic resonance imaging. Measures of depression, global cognitive functioning, exercise, vascular health, cognitive reserve, sleep, and memory were collected. Hippocampal volumes were derived using image segmentation as implemented by FMRIB Software Library. Results: Smaller hippocampal volumes were strongly associated with poorer verbal learning and memory as well as diagnoses of either multiple or amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Based on univariate correlations, multivariable regressions were performed (controlling for age and total intracranial volume) to determine which modifiable risk factors were associated with hippocampal volume. For the left hippocampus, poor sleep efficiency and greater than five years untreated depressive illness remained a significant predictors. For the right hippocampus, diabetes and low diastolic blood pressure were significant predictors. Conclusions: Although their contribution is small, lower sleep efficiency, low blood pressure, diabetes, and untreated depression are associated with reduced hippocampal volumes. Studies exploring the impact of early intervention for these risk factors on hippocampal integrity are warranted.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 11/2014; DOI:10.3233/JAD-142016 · 3.61 Impact Factor


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