The Effects of Exercise on the Psycho-cognitive Function of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in the Young Adults
The benefit of exercise in inducing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) functions in relation to cognition had been reported. Nevertheless, the ambiguity remains with regards to the types of exercise and the duration of exercise required for one to have beneficial effects. In this study, we aimed to analyse the effects of varying modes of exercises and the duration required to improve BDNF functions, specifically in the young adults. The types of exercises evaluated in the meta-analysis include (1) single bout of acute aerobic exercise, (2) repeated and frequent sessions of aerobic exercise (program exercise) over a course of several weeks, and (3) resistance training. Only a single bout of acute aerobic exercise (z=4.92, p=0.00001) is sufficient to cause an increase in BDNF following exercise intervention, while program exercise (z=1.02, p=0.31) and resistance training (z=0.92, p=0.36) demonstrated inconsistencies, some exhibited significant increase in BDNF levels while others exhibited similar results with the control groups.
Antunes, B. M., Rossi, F. E., Teixeira, A. M., & Lira, F. S. (2020). Short-time high-intensity
exercise increases peripheral BDNF in a physical fitness-dependent way in healthy men. European
Journal of Sport Science, 20(1), 43–50. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2019.1611929
Baird, J. F., Gaughan, M. E., Saffer, H. M., Sarzynski, M. A., Herter, T. M., Fritz, S. L., den
Ouden, D. B., & Stewart, J. C. (2018). The effect of energy-matched exercise intensity on brainderived neurotrophic factor and motor learning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 156, 33–
Basso, J. C., & Suzuki, W. A. (2017). The effects of acute exercise on mood, cognition,
neurophysiology, and neurochemical pathways: a review. Brain Plasticity, 2(2), 127–
Cacialli, P., Palladino, A., & Lucini, C. (2018). Role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor during
the regenerative response after traumatic brain injury in adult zebrafish. Neural Regeneration
Research, 13(6), 941. https://doi.org/10.4103/1673-5374.233430
Calabrese, F., Rossetti, A. C., Racagni, G., Gass, P., Riva, M. A., & Molteni, R. (2014). Brainderived neurotrophic factor: a bridge between inflammation and neuroplasticity. Frontiers in
Cellular Neuroscience, 8, 430. https://doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2014.00430
Cattaneo, A., Cattane, N., Begni, V., Pariante, C. M., & Riva, M. A. (2016). The human BDNF
gene: peripheral gene expression and protein levels as biomarkers for psychiatric disorders.
Translational Psychiatry, 6(11), e958--e958. https://doi.org/10.1038/tp.2016.214
Chang, Y.-K., Alderman, B. L., Chu, C.-H., Wang, C.-C., Song, T.-F., & Chen, F.-T. (2017). Acute
exercise has a general facilitative effect on cognitive function: A combined ERP temporal
dynamics and BDNF study. Psychophysiology, 54(2), 289–
Chang, Y.-K., Labban, J. D., Gapin, J. I., & Etnier, J. L. (2012). The effects of acute exercise on
cognitive performance: a meta-analysis. Brain Research, 1453, 87–
Chaput, J.-P., Klingenberg, L., Rosenkilde, M., Gilbert, J.-A., Tremblay, A., & Sjödin, A. (2011).
Physical activity plays an important role in body weight regulation. Journal of Obesity,
Childs, E., & de Wit, H. (2014). Regular exercise is associated with emotional resilience to acute
stress in healthy adults. Frontiers in Physiology, 5,
Colberg, S. R., Sigal, R. J., Yardley, J. E., Riddell, M. C., Dunstan, D. W., Dempsey, P. C., Horton,
E. S., Castorino, K., & Tate, D. F. (2016). Physical activity/exercise and diabetes: a position
statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care, 39(11), 2065–
Cubeddu, A., Bucci, F., Giannini, A., Russo, M., Daino, D., Russo, N., Merlini, S., Pluchino, N.,
Valentino, V., & Casarosa, E. (2011). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor plasma variation during
the different phases of the menstrual cycle in women with premenstrual syndrome.
Psychoneuroendocrinology, 36(4), 523–530. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2010.08.006
Cunha, C., Brambilla, R., & Thomas, K. L. (2010). A simple role for BDNF in learning and
memory? Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 3, 1. https://doi.org/10.3389/neuro.02.001.2010
Dinoff, A., Herrmann, N., Swardfager, W., Liu, C. S., Sherman, C., Chan, S., & Lanctôt, K. L.
(2016). The effect of exercise training on resting concentrations of peripheral brain-derived
neurotrophic factor (BDNF): a meta-analysis. PloS One, 11(9),
Egan, M. F., Kojima, M., Callicott, J. H., Goldberg, T. E., Kolachana, B. S., Bertolino, A., Zaitsev,
E., Gold, B., Goldman, D., Dean, M., & others. (2003). The BDNF val66met polymorphism affects
activity-dependent secretion of BDNF and human memory and hippocampal function. Cell,
(2), 257–269. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0092-8674(03)00035-7
Erickson, K. I., Prakash, R. S., Voss, M. W., Chaddock, L., Heo, S., McLaren, M., Pence, B. D.,
Martin, S. A., Vieira, V. J., Woods, J. A., McAuley, E., & Kramer, A. F. (2010). Brain-derived
neurotrophic factor is associated with age-related decline in hippocampal volume. The Journal of
Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(15), 5368–
Figueiredo, C., Antunes, B. M., Giacon, T. R., Vanderlei, L. C. M., Campos, E. Z., Peres, F. P.,
Clark, N. W., Panissa, V. L. G., & Lira, F. S. (2019). Influence of Acute and Chronic HighIntensity Intermittent Aerobic Plus Strength Exercise on BDNF, Lipid and Autonomic Parameters.
Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 18(2), 359.
Goekint, M., De Pauw, K., Roelands, B., Njemini, R., Bautmans, I., Mets, T., & Meeusen, R.
(2010). Strength training does not influence serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor. European
Journal of Applied Physiology, 110(2), 285–293. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-010-1461-3
Håkansson, K., Ledreux, A., Daffner, K., Terjestam, Y., Bergman, P., Carlsson, R., Kivipelto, M.,
Winblad, B., Granholm, A.-C., & Mohammed, A. K. H. (2017). BDNF responses in healthy older
persons to 35 minutes of physical exercise, cognitive training, and mindfulness: associations with
working memory function. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 55(2), 645–
Helm, E. E., Matt, K. S., Kirschner, K. F., Pohlig, R. T., Kohl, D., & Reisman, D. S. (2017). The
influence of high intensity exercise and the Val66Met polymorphism on circulating BDNF and
locomotor learning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 144, 77–
Hötting, K., Schickert, N., Kaiser, J., Röder, B., & Schmidt-Kassow, M. (2017). The effects of
acute physical exercise on memory, peripheral BDNF, and cortisol in young adults. Neural
Plasticity, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/6860573
Hwang, J., Brothers, R. M., Castelli, D. M., Glowacki, E. M., Chen, Y. T., Salinas, M. M., Kim,
J., Jung, Y., & Calvert, H. G. (2016). Acute high-intensity exercise-induced cognitive
enhancement and brain-derived neurotrophic factor in young, healthy adults. Neuroscience
Letters, 630, 247–253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2016.07.033
Jeon, Y., K., & Ha, C. H. (2015). Expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, IGF-1 and
cortisol elicited by regular aerobic exercise in adolescents. Journal of Physical Therapy Science,
(3), 737–741. https://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.27.737
Jeon, Y., K., & Ha, C. H. (2017). The effect of exercise intensity on brain-derived neurotrophic
factor and memory in adolescents. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine, 22(1), 1–
Kim, Y. (2015). The effect of regular Taekwondo exercise on Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
and Stroop test in an undergraduate student. Journal of Exercise Nutrition & Biochemistry, 19(2),
Kimura, T., Kaneko, F., Iwamoto, E., Saitoh, S., & Yamada, T. (2019). Neuromuscular electrical
stimulation increases serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor in humans. Experimental Brain
Research, 237(1), 47–56. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-018-5396-y
Knaepen, K., Goekint, M., Heyman, E. M., & Meeusen, R. (2010). Neuroplasticity—exerciseinduced response of peripheral brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Sports Medicine, 40(9), 765–
la Rosa, A., Solana, E., Corpas, R., Bartrés-Faz, D., Pallàs, M., Vina, J., Sanfeliu, C., & GomezCabrera, M. C. (2019). Long-term exercise training improves memory in middle-aged men and
modulates peripheral levels of BDNF and Cathepsin B. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 1–
Lambert, C. P., & Evans, W. J. (2005). Adaptations to aerobic and resistance exercise in the
elderly. Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders, 6(2), 137–
Lemos Jr, J. R., Alves, C. R., de Souza, S. B. C., Marsiglia, J. D. C., Silva, M. S. M., Pereira, A.
C., Teixeira, A. L., Vieira, E. L. M., Krieger, J. E., Negrão, C. E., & others. (2016). Peripheral
vascular reactivity and serum BDNF responses to aerobic training are impaired by the BDNF
Val66Met polymorphism. Physiological Genomics, 48(2), 116–
Levinger, I., Goodman, C., Matthews, V., Hare, D. L., Jerums, G., Garnham, A., & Selig, S.
(2008). BDNF, metabolic risk factors, and resistance training in middle-aged individuals. Medicine
& Science in Sports & Exercise, 40(3), 535–541. https://doi.org/10.1249/mss.0b013e31815dd057
Lin, C.-Y., Hung, S.-Y., Chen, H.-T., Tsou, H.-K., Fong, Y.-C., Wang, S.-W., & Tang, C.-H.
(2014). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor increases vascular endothelial growth factor expression
and enhances angiogenesis in human chondrosarcoma cells. Biochemical Pharmacology, 91(4),
Lipsky, R. H., & Marini, A. M. (2007). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor in neuronal survival and
behavior-related plasticity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1122(1), 130–
Miyamoto, T., Hashimoto, S., Yanamoto, H., Ikawa, M., Nakano, Y., Sekiyama, T., Kou, K.,
Kashiwamura, S.-I., Takeda, C., & Fujioka, H. (2018). Response of brain-derived neurotrophic
factor to combining cognitive and physical exercise. European Journal of Sport Science, 18(8),
Miyamoto, T., Kou, K., Yanamoto, H., Hashimoto, S., Ikawa, M., Sekiyama, T., Nakano, Y.,
Kashiwamura, S., Takeda, C., & Fujioka, H. (2018). Effect of neuromuscular electrical stimulation
on brain-derived neurotrophic factor. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 40(01), 5–
Nystoriak, M. A., & Bhatnagar, A. (2018). Cardiovascular effects and benefits of exercise.
Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, 5, 135. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2018.00135
Oh, H., Lewis, D. A., & Sibille, E. (2016). The role of BDNF in age-dependent changes of
excitatory and inhibitory synaptic markers in the human prefrontal cortex.
Neuropsychopharmacology, 41(13), 3080–3091. https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2016.126
Roh, H.-T., Cho, S.-Y., Yoon, H.-G., & So, W.-Y. (2017). Effect of exercise intensity on
neurotrophic factors and blood-brain barrier permeability induced by oxidative--nitrosative stress
in male college students. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 27(3),
Schiffer, T., Schulte, S., Hollmann, W., Bloch, W., & Strüder, H. K. (2009). Effects of strength
and endurance training on brain-derived neurotrophic factor and insulin-like growth factor 1 in
humans. Hormone and Metabolic Research, 41(03), 250–254. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0028-
Schmidt-Kassow, M., Schädle, S., Otterbein, S., Thiel, C., Doehring, A., Lötsch, J., & Kaiser, J.
(2012). Kinetics of serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor following low-intensity versus highintensity exercise in men and women. Neuroreport, 23(15), 889–
Schmidt-Kassow, M., Zink, N., Mock, J., Thiel, C., Vogt, L., Abel, C., & Kaiser, J. (2014).
Treadmill walking during vocabulary encoding improves verbal long-term memory. Behavioral
and Brain Functions, 10(1), 24. https://doi.org/10.1186/1744-9081-10-24
Schmolesky, M. T., Webb, D. L., & Hansen, R. A. (2013). The effects of aerobic exercise intensity
and duration on levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in healthy men. Journal of Sports
Science & Medicine, 12(3), 502. https://doi.org/10.1113/ep085682
Seifert, T., Brassard, P., Wissenberg, M., Rasmussen, P., Nordby, P., Stallknecht, B., Adser, H.,
Jakobsen, A. H., Pilegaard, H., Nielsen, H. B., & others. (2010). Endurance training enhances
BDNF release from the human brain. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and
Comparative Physiology, 298(2), R372--R377. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00525.2009
Szuhany, K. L., Bugatti, M., & Otto, M. W. (2015). A meta-analytic review of the effects of
exercise on brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 60, 56–
Tsai, C.-L., Pan, C.-Y., Chen, F.-C., Wang, C.-H., & Chou, F.-Y. (2016). Effects of acute aerobic
exercise on a task-switching protocol and brain-derived neurotrophic factor concentrations in
young adults with different levels of cardiorespiratory fitness. Experimental Physiology, 101(7),
Wagner, G., Herbsleb, M., Cruz, F. de la, Schumann, A., Brünner, F., Schachtzabel, C., Gussew,
A., Puta, C., Smesny, S., Gabriel, H. W., & others. (2015). Hippocampal structure, metabolism
and inflammatory response after a 6-week intense aerobic exercise in healthy young adults: a
controlled trial. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, 35(10), 1570–
Wagner, G., Herbsleb, M., de la Cruz, F., Schumann, A., Köhler, S., Puta, C., Gabriel, H. W.,
Reichenbach, J. R., & Bär, K.-J. (2017). Changes in fMRI activation in anterior hippocampus and
motor cortex during memory retrieval after an intense exercise intervention. Biological
Psychology, 124, 65–78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2017.01.003
Yang, T., Nie, Z., Shu, H., Kuang, Y., Chen, X., Cheng, J., Yu, S., & Liu, H. (2020). The Role of
BDNF on Neural Plasticity in Depression. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 14,
Zembron-Lacny, A., Dziubek, W., Rynkiewicz, M., Morawin, B., & Woźniewski, M. (2016).
Peripheral brain-derived neurotrophic factor is related to cardiovascular risk factors in active and
inactive elderly men. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research,
Copyright Transfer Statement for Journal
1) In signing this statement, the author(s) grant UNIMAS Publisher an exclusive license to publish their original research papers. The author(s) also grant UNIMAS Publisher permission to reproduce, recreate, translate, extract or summarize, and to distribute and display in any forms, formats, and media. The author(s) can reuse their papers in their future printed work without first requiring permission from UNIMAS Publisher, provided that the author(s) acknowledge and reference publication in the Journal.
2) For open access articles, the author(s) agree that their articles published under UNIMAS Publisher are distributed under the terms of the CC-BY-NC-SA (Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, for non-commercial purposes, provided the original work of the author(s) is properly cited.
3) For subscription articles, the author(s) agree that UNIMAS Publisher holds copyright, or an exclusive license to publish. Readers or users may view, download, print, and copy the content, for academic purposes, subject to the following conditions of use: (a) any reuse of materials is subject to permission from UNIMAS Publisher; (b) archived materials may only be used for academic research; (c) archived materials may not be used for commercial purposes, which include but not limited to monetary compensation by means of sale, resale, license, transfer of copyright, loan, etc.; and (d) archived materials may not be re-published in any part, either in print or online.
4) The author(s) is/are responsible to ensure his or her or their submitted work is original and does not infringe any existing copyright, trademark, patent, statutory right, or propriety right of others. Corresponding author(s) has (have) obtained permission from all co-authors prior to submission to the journal. Upon submission of the manuscript, the author(s) agree that no similar work has been or will be submitted or published elsewhere in any language. If submitted manuscript includes materials from others, the authors have obtained the permission from the copyright owners.
5) In signing this statement, the author(s) declare(s) that the researches in which they have conducted are in compliance with the current laws of the respective country and UNIMAS Journal Publication Ethics Policy. Any experimentation or research involving human or the use of animal samples must obtain approval from Human or Animal Ethics Committee in their respective institutions. The author(s) agree and understand that UNIMAS Publisher is not responsible for any compensational claims or failure caused by the author(s) in fulfilling the above-mentioned requirements. The author(s) must accept the responsibility for releasing their materials upon request by Chief Editor or UNIMAS Publisher.
6) The author(s) should have participated sufficiently in the work and ensured the appropriateness of the content of the article. The author(s) should also agree that he or she has no commercial attachments (e.g. patent or license arrangement, equity interest, consultancies, etc.) that might pose any conflict of interest with the submitted manuscript. The author(s) also agree to make any relevant materials and data available upon request by the editor or UNIMAS Publisher.