Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

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It’s possible if repeated enough times it may actually turn out to be true and not end up being a one ‘big lie’. Keeping on the COVID theme, how many of you have heard of COVID-15?

COVID-15: The 15 lbs of weight gain caused by nervously binge eating your COVID-19 food stockpile.

Jokes aside, evidence points to exercise being beneficial for not only boosting your metabolism (and ergo your weight), but also maintaining positive neural feedback thereby encouraging neural plasticity.

Neural plasticity can be defined as the ability of the central nervous system (CNS) to adapt in response to changes in the environment or lesions.

In a recently published work, investigators looked at trophic factors that have been associated with brain plasticity before and after excercise. They found (ignoring the fact that the study only had female participants) an increase in all neurotrophin levels, except for GDNF and CNTF (see Figure below). There was no significant influence of disability levels on this suggesting that exercise is still beneficial in the higher ends of disability.

https://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S2211034820302194-gr2_lrg.jpg
Figure: Neurotrophic factors change following 12 weeks of combined exercise training.
* Indicate significant effect based on p<0.05. BDNF: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; GDNF: Glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor; CNTF: Ciliary neurotrophic factor; NT: Neurotrophin.

This is not the first study of its kind and positive effects of excercise have been demonstrated on BDNF and NT in the past. If you’re interested in learning more about this, here is a good review on the effects of exercise on BDNF and memory: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2018.00052/full.

Abstract

Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2020 May 13;43:102143. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2020.102143. Online ahead of print.

Exercise Improves Neurotrophins in Multiple Sclerosis Independent of Disability Status

Ebrahim BanitalebiMajid Mardaniyan GhahfarrokhiRaoof Negaresh Abdolreza KazemiMohammad FaramarziRobert W MotlPhilipp Zimmer

Background: To date, studies examining the effect of exercise on neurotrophic factors in MS are contradictory, and this may be explained, in part, by moderators such as disability status. To investigating the effect of a 12-week (3sessions/week) supervised multimodal exercise program on neurotrophic factors levels.

Methods: Ninety four women with MS were randomly assigned into exercise or control conditions with randomization stratified by Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores of low (EDSS< 4.5), moderate (4.5 ≤EDSS≤ 6), or high (EDSS≥ 6.5) disability. The exercise program comprised resistance, endurance, Pilates, balance and stretch exercises. Resting level of neurotrophic factors, aerobic capacity, one-repetition maximum, and physiological cost index (PCI) were evaluated before and after the intervention period.

Results: Exercise training improved brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin (NT)-3, and NT-4/5 levels. The effect of exercise on NT-3 was dependent on disability status such that exercise groups with low and high disability had more pronounced changes compared with other condition. There were no exercise effects on ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). Aerobic capacity and one-repetition maximum, but not PCI, were improved with exercise independent of disability status.

Conclusions: Exercise can stimulate neurotrophic production and secretion, and this is generally not influenced by disability status. Exercise training may be an adjuvant for disease-modifying therapy among people with MS, and its effect may not be moderated by disability status.

About the author

Neuro Doc Gnanapavan

6 comments

    • Ketone Bodies as a Fuel for the Brain during Starvation

      “Obese nurse who had recurring chest pain to him forevaluation and for possible prolonged fasting for weight
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    • Resistance exercise: biceps curl, triceps extension, bench press, seated row, heel raises, leg extension, squat. Done as 3 sets.
      Endurance exercise: cycling or running for 20min (mod disability), body weight supported treadmill training or cycling for 20min (high disability)
      Balance exercise: static postural control; weight shifting 15min
      Pilates: 15min
      Stretching: 10min
      All done x3/week

      • Rowing is an excellent exercise. Full body weight bearing and cardio. Plus it is easy on the joints and doesn’t require much balance. If one side is more weak, the other side can help to compensate. I find that it is the best thing I’ve been able to do during an exacerbation. I use a Concept 2 Rower.

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