The Effect of Physical Exercise on Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in Elderly: a Systematic Review of Experimental Studies

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Birinci Y. Z., Şahin Ş., Vatansever Tayşi Ş., Pancar S.

Turkish Journal of Sports Medicine, vol.54, no.4, pp.276-287, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Journal Name: Turkish Journal of Sports Medicine
  • Journal Indexes: TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.276-287
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes



The increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) along with physical exercise

is thought to be one of the main reasons of the positive effect on the cognitive

characteristics of elderly persons. The aim of this study is to systematically review the

effects of physical exercise on BDNF in elderly people. The methodology of the

electronic database survey was based on the preferred reporting clauses for systematic

reviews. In this review, 21 full-text studies which have been evaluated in terms of the

effects of physical exercise on BDNF in elderly people were reviewed. In most of the

studies, there is serious evidence that physical exercise regulates BDNF levels in the

elderly. Exercise can become a powerful prescription in combating cognitive diseases

associated with neuromuscular disorders, and a sedentary lifestyle, if it can lead to the

healing and regeneration of neural tissue through its effect on BDNF.

Keywords: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, elderly, physical exercise