The Link Between BDNF and Neuroplasticity

The Link Between BDNF and Neuroplasticity

Publication date: Jan 11, 2020

The proteins responsible for regulating these processes of cell birth and cell death in the brain are known as neurotrophic factors (or neurotrophins), one of which is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

While it is not clear at this time if increasing BDNF levels can reverse or prevent neurodegenerative conditions, normal levels of BDNF are typically associated with better cognitive performances and overall brain function in individuals with the conditions noted above.

Research has found that several factors, particularly obesity, may influence BDNF levels-obese individuals have lower BDNF levels while non-obese individuals have higher BDNF levels.

A study published in 2011 found that three weeks of high-intensity cycling and five weeks of aerobic exercise improved cognitive functioning and increased levels of BDNF.

Yet another study found that BDNF levels increased with aerobic exercise and that this corresponded with an increase in hippocampal volume by 2 percent.

On top of helping to combat obesity and increase BDNF, thereby improving overall brain function, these studies suggest that exercise can be especially beneficial to memory.

Taken in conjunction, such dietary habits can lead to obesity, which, as noted above, can negatively impact BDNF levels and overall cognitive health.

Additionally, diets that are high in processed sugars and saturated fats can affect neurotrophin levels, including BDNF levels, which in turn can lead to a reduction in hippocampal volume and neuroplasticity.

Social engagement appears to also affect BDNF levels, particularly in developing brains.

The study discovered that mice raised in a communal nest had significantly increased neurotrophin levels in several brain areas, particularly the hippocampus and hypothalamus, even later in life.

Ultimately, the best way to increase BDNF levels is to adopt a healthier overall lifestyle that can also contribute positively to one’s mental health and cardiovascular health, while also reducing one’s level of body fat.

Concepts Keywords
Aerobic Exercise Apoptosis
Apoptosis Neuroplasticity
Axons Neurotrophic factors
BDNF Neurotrophin
Biopharmaceutical Nerve growth factor
Body Fat Peptide hormones
Brain Brain-derived neurotrophic factor
Caloric Restriction Growth factors
Cardiovascular Developmental neuroscience
Cholesterol Neurochemistry
Cognitive Branches of biology
Consciousness Neuroscience
Cycling Injury
Dutch Obesity
Energy Homeostasis Combat obesity
Hippocampal Factors obesity
Hippocampus Caloric restriction
Hypothalamus
Long Term Memory
Memory
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis
Nerve
Nerve Growth Factor
Neurobiological
Neurodegenerative
Neurodegenerative Disorders
Neurogenesis
Neuron
Neuronal Plasticity
Neurons
Neuroplasticity
Neurotrophic Factor
Neurotrophic Factors
Neurotrophin
Neurotrophins
NGF
Nootropic
Nutrient
Obese
Obesity
Organ
Protein
Saturated Fats
Serum
SSRIs
Synapses
Synaptic Connections
Trillion
Type 2 Diabetes
Vitamin
Volume Percent

Semantics

Type Source Name
drug DRUGBANK Cholesterol
disease MESH intermittent fasting
disease MESH caloric restriction
drug DRUGBANK Serotonin
drug DRUGBANK Vitamin D
disease MESH habits
disease MESH lifestyle
disease MESH obesity
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
disease MESH multiple sclerosis
disease MESH neurodegenerative disorders
drug DRUGBANK Nerve Growth Factor
disease MESH development
pathway KEGG Apoptosis
disease MESH death

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