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Poster C148

Promoting Brain Health and Resilience: The Effect of Three Types of Exercise on Blood-Based Neurotrophins

Poster Session C - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Thomas Rawliuk1 (, Mikal Thrones2, Stephen Cornish2, Steven Greening1; 1University of Manitoba, Faculty of Psychology, 2Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management

Physical exercise is positively associated with mechanisms of brain health, one involving blood-based neurotrophins. Neurotrophins are neuroprotective, promoting brain health and resilience via growth and plasticity of neurons. However, the differential influences of exercise type on neurotrophic release into the cardiovascular system have yet to be established. In a repeated measures cross over design, we evaluated the acute impacts of moderate-intensity continuous exercise, high-intensity interval exercise, and resistance exercise on blood-based neurotrophins in 12 subjects (18-45) over a 5-week period. In all exercises, subjects had phlebotomy, cardiac, grip and mood measures taken pre-exercise, post-exercise, 30-minutes, and 60-minutes post-exercise. Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), an extensively studied protein involved in neuroplasticity served as the primary neurotrophin of interest, while the other measures served as secondary measures associated with brain health and resilience. The primary hypothesis posited an acute increase in blood plasma BDNF immediately following each exercise with sustained elevation for 30-minutes returning to baseline by 60-minutes. Secondary predictions suggested high-intensity interval exercise would yield a higher BDNF response relative to the other exercises. Blood-based analysis of BDNF is currently underway and will be shared during poster presentations. However, cardiac metrics (RMSSD) significantly changed from pre to post as an effect of exercise and time and gradually recovering to baseline, suggesting dynamic changes in parasympathetic tone for all conditions. Grip and mood measures showed no significant changes. This study serves to elucidate the relationship between exercise and brain health and promote further inquiry into the mechanisms of exercise on brain health.

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