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Exercise and Brain Neurotransmission

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Abstract

Physical exercise influences the central dopaminergic, noradrenergic and serotonergic systems. A number of studies have examined brain noradrenaline (norepinephrine), serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) and dopamine with exercise. Although there are great discrepancies in experimental protocols, the results indicate that there is evidence in favour of changes in synthesis and metabolism of monoamines during exercise. There is a possibility that the interactions between brain neurotransmitters and their specific receptors could play a role in the onset of fatigue during prolonged exercise. The data on the effects of branched chain amino acid (BCAA) supplementation and ‘central fatigue’ seem to be conflicting, although recent studies suggest that BCAA supplementation has no influence on endurance performance. There are numerous levels at which central neurotransmitters can affect motor behaviour; from sensory perception, and sensory-motor integration, to motor effector mechanisms. However, the crucial point is whether or not the changes in neurotransmitter levels trigger or reflect changes in monoamine release. Until recently most studies were done on homogenised tissue, which gives no indication of the dynamic release of neurotransmitters in the extracellular space of living organisms.
... More specifically, a series of previous studies have shown a set of different signaling pathways (e.g., hormones, growth factors, and neuromodulators) influencing cognitive function these pathways can be enlarged and modulated by physical exercise 4, 45, 46, 48 . For instance, significant increases in the dopamine and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) circulating were detected during physical exercise 15,45,46,51,66 . Physical exercise can modulate the release of neurotransmitters and neurotrophins that acutely potentiates neural function and induce a cascade of cognitive functions-related events 14, 45, 50 . ...
... Physical exercise can modulate the release of neurotransmitters and neurotrophins that acutely potentiates neural function and induce a cascade of cognitive functions-related events 14, 45, 50 . For instance, acute exercise stimulates the peripheral increase of catecholamines and BDNF concentrations (e.g., 4,51 ). It is important to highlight that a caveat of previous studies is that peripherally measured catecholamines and BDNF may not accurately reflect central levels. ...
... These results could be explained by the neurobiological changes that occur during physical exercise (for more details, 45,46 ). A series of studies showed that during acute physical exercise at moderate intensity, dopamine and its metabolites increase significantly in several brain regions (For more details, please see 9,50,51 ). In this way, assuming that: (1) the dopamine levels during moderate acute physical exercise appear to be different when compared with basal levels (2) the basal dopamine levels seem to be different among individuals depending on COMT Val158Met polymorphism ( ) During moderate acute physical exercise, occur a series of neurobiological changes (e.g., oxygenation, neurotransmitter release, and increased temperature) and (4) the mild psychosocial stressor by two testers in the room combined with moderate physical exercise it may have modulated the dopamine level we can consider that the results found by Faria et al. 20 can be explained by a large number of factors may be associated with the EFs performance during exercising. ...
... Esto se debe al impacto positivo del ejercicio sobre algunos neurotransmisores relacionados con la sensación de bienestar (e.g. dopamina, serotonina, entre otros [Meeusen & De Meirleir, 1995]). Por otro lado, una alta AE favorece el hacer frente a los problemas (Branden, 2018), como los relacionados con la pandemia. ...
... ¿Qué pasó con los deportistas? Aquí, se presentaron dos fenómenos: (a) la evidencia empírica no es del todo vasta; (b) si bien es cierto que el ejercicio físico y deporte favorecen la percepción del BS (Lyubomirsky, 2021;Meeusen & De Meirleir, 1995); cierta evidencia empírica mostró que este grupo también se vio afectado por el confinamiento. Por ejemplo, Jungwirth et al. (2021) encontraron, en países de lengua germana, que la percepción de la SV disminuyó 24% en golfistas; mientras que, en atletas de élite de Irán, el nivel de SV fue más bajo durante el confinamiento en comparación con etapas posteriores (Mehrsafar et al., 2021). ...
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Resumen El aislamiento social ha sido una estrategia importante para contrarrestar la pandemia por COVID-19, lo cual ha afectado a la práctica deportiva y el ejercicio físico y, con ello, también, a la percepción sobre variables como la autoestima y el bienestar subjetivo (afecto positivo y afecto negativo [PANAS], y satisfacción con la vida). Aunque estas variables presentan una relación significativa, podrían dar cabida a la mediación de los afectos, lo cual es algo no concluyente en tiempos de pandemia. Por tal motivo, la presente investigación tiene como objetivo comparar dichas variables antes y durante el confinamiento; además de analizar el efecto mediador dentro de un modelo estructural en SmartPLS. Mediante una investigación cuantitativa, correlacional y comparativa, se obtuvo una muestra de 200 estudiantes del área de deportes y ejercicio físico de una universidad del noroeste de México. Se encontraron diferencias significativas en variables como la autoestima (pre-pandemia [M= 3.65; DE= .272] y durante [M= 3.23; DE= .543]; p< .001) y los afectos positivo (pre-pandemia [M= 3.64; DE= .601] y durante [M= 3.41; DE= .797]; p< .05) y negativo (pre-pandemia [M= 2.37; DE= .733] y durante [M= 2.11; DE= .765]; p< .01) antes y durante la pandemia; así como un efecto mediador del afecto positivo en la relación entre autoestima y satisfacción con la vida (t= 3.772; p< .001). Se pretende hacer una contribución para comprender los efectos de la pandemia en la práctica deportiva y psicología positiva, perspectiva que ha cobrado gran relevancia. Palabras clave: Autoestima. Bienestar subjetivo. Estudiantes universitarios. Deporte.
... Yet, the acute change of body temperature caused by physical exercise may facilitate the permeability of the BBB to catecholamines (Watson, Shirreffs, & Maughan, 2005). Peripheral levels of epinephrine were reported positively associated with central levels of norepinephrine, indicating that catecholamine levels in the blood may be good indicators of exercise-induced noradrenergic changes in the brain (Basso & Suzuki, 2017;Meeusen & Demeirleir, 1995). Additionally, since serotonin transporters have been observed in brain capillary endothelial cells at the BBB in mice, increased serotonin levels in the CNS might result in higher peripheral serum/plasma serotonin levels as well (Zimmer et al., 2016). ...
Article
This study aimed to clarify the effects of high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE) and moderate-intensity continuous exercise (MICE) protocols on peripheral neurotransmitters and on the neuropsychological performance of working memory and to explore underlying correlations. In a randomised cross-over trial, twenty-two adults in late middle age or older completed a single session of HIIE, MICE, or a control condition (rest) in counterbalanced order with a 7-day washout. Neuropsychological indices of working memory and neurotransmitter (norep-inephrine, dopamine, and serotonin) levels were measured at baseline and after an intense bout of either HIIE or MICE, or an intervention without exercise. Analyses of the results revealed no significant effect of HIIE on the neurotransmitters, but significantly high levels of norepinephrine and serotonin were induced by MICE. In terms of neuropsychological performance, a single session of HIIE and MICE shortened the participants' reaction times (RTs), whereas only MICE caused a significant increase in accuracy rates (ARs). Significant correlations were found between the changes in norepinephrine levels and ARs/RTs before and after the HIIE and MICE interventions , respectively. The results of this study suggest that an intense MICE protocol triggers higher norepinephrine and serotonin levels than HIIE does. The possible neurobiochemical factor (i.e., norepinephrine) underlying the HIIE/MICE-induced neuropsychological benefits (i.e., improved ARs and RTs) for working memory encoding and maintenance appears to be protocol-dependent. Systematic and prolonged investigations are required to further understand the effects/mechanisms specific to each exercise protocol in order to optimize the benefits of aerobic exercise interventions for long-term neurobiochemical and neuropsychological health.
... Moreover, physical activity directly affects the body's organs like the brain and heart. Physical exercise affects dopaminergic, serotonergic, and noradrenergic pathways [116]. ...
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Background The evidence for associations of emotional/behavioral status with sedentary behavior (SB), physical activity (PA) and step counts is scarce in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Also, ASD-related deficiencies may affect actual levels of PA. We aimed to describe accelerometer-measured SB, PA and step counts in children with ASD, and to examine the associations of emotional/behavioral problems with SB, PA and step counts after assessing associations between accelerometer-measured SB, PA and step counts and ASD-related deficiencies. Methods A total of 93 ASD children, aged 6–9 years, were recruited from the Center for Child and Adolescent Psychology and Behavioral Development of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China. Participants wore an accelerometer for seven consecutive days. Of the original 93, 78 participants' accelerometer-measured valid PA were obtained, and the data were shown as time spent in SB, light, moderate, moderate-to-vigorous and vigorous PA, and step counts. Participants' emotional/behavioral problems were assessed via the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and anxiety symptoms were evaluated by the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED). ASD-associated deficiencies include restricted repetitive behaviors (Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised), poor social competence (Social Responsiveness Scale Second Edition) and motor development restrictions (Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire). Results Of the 78 participants, daily vigorous PA (VPA) and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) averaged 15.62 and 51.95 min, respectively. After adjustment for covariates, SDQ emotional symptoms (β = −0.060, p = 0.028) were inversely associated with the average daily minutes in VPA. Meanwhile, SDQ emotional symptoms (β = −0.033, p = 0.016) were inversely associated with the average daily MVPA minutes in the crude model. After adjustment for covariates, SCARED somatic/panic (β = −0.007, p = 0.040) and generalized anxiety (β = −0.025, p = 0.014) were negatively associated with the average daily VPA minutes; SCARED total anxiety (β = −0.006, p = 0.029) was conversely associated with daily MVPA duration. After adjustment for covariates, no significant associations between accelerometer-measured SB, PA and step counts and ASD-related deficiencies were found ( p > 0.05). Conclusions Accelerometer-measured SB, PA and step counts showed no associations with ASD-related deficiencies. On this basis, we further found that the emotional symptoms were inversely associated with VPA and MVPA. These results emphasize the importance of VPA and MVPA in children with ASD. The longitudinally investigations on the directionality of these associations between emotional symptoms with VPA and MVPA are needed in the future.
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: An investigation was made into the effects of running (I h at 20 m/min) on central serotonergic and dopaminergic metabolism in trained rats. Methodology involved continuous withdrawal of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the third ventricle of conscious rats and measurements of tryptophan (TRP), 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), and homovanillic acid (HVA) levels during a 2 h post-exercise period. All three compounds were increased during the hour following exercise and returned to their basal values within an hour later. CSF flow rate was stable when metabolite levels were elevated. Brain determinations indicated that CSF metabolite variations only qualitatively paralleled brain changes. Indeed, post-exercise TRP, 5-HIAA, and HVA levels were increased to a greater extent in brain when compared to CSF. It is suggested that increased serotonergic and dopaminergic metabolism, caused by motor activity, may be involved in the behavioral effects of exercise.
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Long-term exercise is associated with an antidepressant effect in patients with mild to moderate forms of nonbipolar depression and appears to be a promising new approach to its treatment. Adaptive changes in serotonin (5-HT) receptor functioning appears to play an important role in mediating the action of various antidepressant treatments. We investigated the adaptive changes in behavioral sensitivity of the 5-HT receptor subtype following 4 weeks of swimming exercise in normal rats, as well as in an animal model of depression (3 week, variety of chronic stressors). 5-HT1A autoreceptor sensitivity was assessed by hyperphagic response induced by 8-OH-DPAT (0.25 mg/kg, IP); 5-HT1A postsynaptic receptor by 5-HT syndrome induced by 8-OH-DPAT (0.75 mg/kg, IP), and 5 Me-ODMT (5 mg/kg, IP); and 5-HT2 receptor by wet dog shakes response induced by quipazine (1 mg/kg, IP) and 5MeODMT (5 mg/kg, IP). It was observed that exercise training in normal rats resulted in enhanced sensitivity of the 5-HT2 receptors along with subsensitivity of 5-HT1A autoreceptors. Exercise, given prophylactically along with chronic stressors, was able to prevent the development of behavioral deficit in the open-field test, and the animals developed remarkably enhanced sensitivity of 5-HT2 receptors. This adaptive supersensitivity of 5-HT2 receptor is also seen after various antidepressant treatments and may play an important role in mediating the antidepressant action of exercise.