Physical exercise-induced adult neurogenesis: a good strategy to prevent cognitive decline in neurodegenerative diseases?

Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:403120. doi: 10.1155/2014/403120. Epub 2014 Apr 9.

Abstract

Cumulative evidence has indicated that there is an important role for adult hippocampal neurogenesis in cognitive function. With the increasing prevalence of cognitive decline associated with neurodegenerative diseases among the ageing population, physical exercise, a potent enhancer of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, has emerged as a potential preventative strategy/treatment to reduce cognitive decline. Here we review the functional role of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in learning and memory, and how this form of structural plasticity is altered in neurodegenerative diseases known to involve cognitive impairment. We further discuss how physical exercise may contribute to cognitive improvement in the ageing brain by preserving adult neurogenesis, and review the recent approaches for measuring changes in neurogenesis in the live human brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cognition Disorders / complications*
  • Cognition Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Memory
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / complications*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Neurogenesis*