Physical Activity and the Aging Brain

Physical Activity and the Aging Brain

Effects of Exercise on Neurological Function

1st Edition - December 15, 2016

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  • Editor: Ronald Watson
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128050941
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128052624

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Physical Activity and the Aging Brain: Effects of Exercise on Neurological Function is a complete guide to the manifold effects of exercise and physical activity on the aging brain. Cognitive decline and motor impairment, onset of diseases and disorders, and even changes in family structure and social settings that occur as we age can all impact activity levels, yet continued physical activity is crucial for successful neurological functioning. This book examines the role that exercise and physical activity play in halting or modulating the deleterious effects of these numerous aging concerns by first examining the current state of research into how exercise manifests physical changes in the brain. It then discuss how physical activity combines with other lifestyle factors to benefit the aging brain, including nutrition, computerized brain training, and social engagement. Most significantly, it also covers how physical activity can serve as therapy to help alleviate the symptoms of various neurological diseases impacting aging populations, with particular emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. The book provides broad coverage of the effects of exercise and physical activity on the aging brain, its therapeutic effects, and the many factors that influence the aging process.

Key Features

  • Presents research scientists with a complete understanding of the role of exercise in healthy brain aging
  • Considers the roles of nutrition, the mind-body connection, and other lifestyle factors
  • Presents a major resource for exercise and physical activity in the neurological health of older adults
  • Provides a synopsis of key ideas associated with the many aspects of physical activity, along with lifestyle factors that can modify neurological diseases and age-related neurological decline


Researchers and advanced students in cognitive neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, neurology, neurobiology, translational neuroscience, and neuropsychology, as well as psychology, exercise physiology, and gerontology

Table of Contents

    • List of Contributors
    • Preface
    • Acknowledgments
    • Part I. Overview of Exercise and Neurological Changes
      • Chapter 1. Effects of Physical Activity on the Cerebral Networks
        • What Is Cognitive Ageing?
        • Physical Exercise and Health
        • Cognitive Ageing and Cerebral Networks
        • Physical Activity, Cognitive Reserve, and Neuroplasticity: Three Allies for Successful Ageing
        • Molecular Basis of Exercise and the Ageing Brain
      • Chapter 2. Exercise and the Developing Brain in Children and Adolescents
        • Measuring Physical Activity Levels and Aerobic Fitness in Youth
        • Brain Development as Measured by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
        • Aerobic Exercise and Brain Structure
        • Aerobic Exercise and Brain Activity
        • Aerobic Exercise and Cognition
        • Remaining Questions and Future Directions
        • Summary
      • Chapter 3. Differential Expression of the Brain Proteome in Physical Training
        • Introduction
        • Methodology
        • Sample Preparation
        • Two-Dimensional Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (2D-PAGE)
        • Conclusion
      • Chapter 4. Physical Exercise-Induced Changes in Brain Temperature
        • Introduction
        • Measuring Brain Temperature During Exercise
        • Effects of Exercise on TBRAIN
        • Final Remarks
    • Part II. Drugs of Abuse With Exercise to Modify Neurological Structure and Function
      • Chapter 5. Physical Activity as a Therapeutic Intervention for Addictive Disorders: Interactions With Methamphetamine
        • Introduction
        • Animal Models of Drug Reinforcement and Reward to Illicit Drugs
        • Animal Models of Sustained Physical Activity
        • Convergence Between Methamphetamine Self-Administration and Sustained Physical Activity in Animal Models
        • Neural Mechanisms Underlying Reinforcing Effects of Methamphetamine and Wheel Running
        • Neuroprotection by Wheel Running: Significant Interactions With Methamphetamine-Induced Neurotoxicity
        • Exercise as a Therapeutic Intervention for Methamphetamine Addiction
      • Chapter 6. Pharmacological Intervention of Brain Neurotransmission Affects Exercise Capacity
        • Introduction
        • The Structure and Function of the Nervous System
        • Physiological Properties of Monoamines
        • Monoamine and Exercise
        • Drugs Manipulating Brain Monoamine and Exercise Performance
        • Summary
      • Chapter 7. The Endocannabinoid System and Chronic Disease: Opportunity for Innovative Therapies
        • Introduction
        • History of the Runner’s High
        • Effects of Endocannabinoid System Stimulation
        • Possibilities of Therapeutic Uses of the Endocannabinoid System in Chronic Conditions
        • Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor and Depression
        • Chronic Pain
        • Epilepsy
        • Musculoskeletal Disorders
        • Alzheimer’s Disease
        • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
        • Stress-Related Disorders
        • Conclusion
    • Part III. Factors Modulating Exercise in Aging and Neurological Consequences
      • Chapter 8. Changes in Cerebral Blood Flow During Steady-State Exercise
        • Introduction
        • CBF Estimated by TCD Method
        • rCBF Measurement Using PET
        • Increased rCBF During Exercise: Underlying Possible Mechanisms
        • Increased rCBF During Exercise and Beneficial Effects of Brain
        • Conclusion
      • Chapter 9. Biochemical Mechanisms Associated With Exercise-Induced Neuroprotection in Aging Brains and Related Neurological Diseases
        • Introduction
        • Exercise Effects: Neurotrophic Factors
        • Exercise Effects: Epigenetics
        • Exercise Effects: Apoptosis
        • Exercise Effects: Oxidative Stress
        • Exercise Effects: Neurogenesis
        • Exercise Effects: Synaptogenesis
        • Exercise Effects: Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases
        • Conclusions
      • Chapter 10. Role of Melatonin Supplementation During Strenuous Exercise
        • Melatonin: Sources, Biosynthesis, and Physiological Effects
        • Exercise: Oxidative Stress and Induced Inflammatory Signaling
        • Melatonin and Inflammatory Signaling
        • Effects of Melatonin in Strenuous Exercise
    • Part IV. Exercise as Therapy for Neurological Diseases
      • Chapter 11. Mechanisms of Functional Recovery With Exercise and Rehabilitation in Spinal Cord Injuries
        • Introduction
        • Mechanisms Underlying of Rehabilitation
        • Refining Rehabilitation Programs
        • Conclusions
      • Chapter 12. Neural Structure, Connectivity, and Cognition Changes Associated to Physical Exercise
        • Introduction
      • Chapter 13. The Effect of Exercise on Motor Function and Neuroplasticity in Parkinson’s Disease
        • Introduction
        • Parkinson’s Disease
        • Exercise Interventions in Parkinson’s Disease Patients
        • The Effects of Exercise on the Parkinsonian Brain—Animal Models
        • The Effects of Exercise on the Parkinsonian Brain—Human Studies
        • Conclusion
      • Chapter 14. Physical Exercise and Its Effects on Alzheimer’s Disease
        • Introduction
        • Alzheimer’s Disease and Level of Physical Activity
        • Alzheimer’s Disease and Physical Activity Programs
        • Alzheimer’s Disease, Physical Exercise, and Cognitive Functions
        • Alzheimer’s Disease, Physical Exercise, and Neuropsychiatric Symptoms
        • Alzheimer’s Disease, Physical Exercise, and Functional Capacity
        • Alzheimer’s Disease, Physical Exercise, and BioMarkers
        • Final Considerations
      • Chapter 15. Cortical Reorganization in Response to Exercise
        • Introduction
        • The Exercising Brain
        • Fatigue-related Brain Reorganization
        • Brain Reorganization after Stroke
        • Conclusion
      • Chapter 16. Exercise Enhances Cognitive Capacity in the Aging Brain
        • Introduction
        • The Aging Brain
        • Making the Connection—Moving the Body Builds the Brain
        • Physical Exercise for Preventing Age-Related Cognitive Decline
        • Molecular and Cellular Building Blocks for Brain Remodeling by Exercise
        • Conclusion
    • Part V. Lifestyle Exercise Affecting Neurological Structure and Function in Older Adults
      • Chapter 17. Synergistic Effects of Combined Physical Activity and Brain Training on Neurological Functions
        • Introduction
        • Leisure Activities Improves Cognition and Reduces the Risk of Dementia and AD
        • Combined Physical and Cognitive Training Interventions Show Stronger Cognitive Benefits
        • Mechanisms Underlying the Synergistic Effects of Combined Physical and Mental Activities for Healthy Brain Aging
        • Future Directions
      • Chapter 18. Physical Activity: Effects of Exercise on Neurological Function
        • Introduction
        • Age-related Functional and Structural Changes in the Human Brain
        • Theories of Neural Plasticity in Older Adults
        • Exercise and Neurological Changes
        • Exercise as Therapy for Neurological Diseases
        • Conclusion
      • Chapter 19. Update of Nutritional Antioxidants and Antinociceptives on Improving Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness
        • Introduction
        • Mechanisms Responsible for the DOMS
        • Endogenous Antioxidants and Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness
        • Nutritional Antioxidants and Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness
        • Antioxidant Supplements
        • Functional Foods With High Antioxidant Concentrations
        • Antinociceptive Supplements and Exercise-Induced Muscle Soreness
      • Chapter 20. Effects of Exercise-Altered Immune Functions on Neuroplasticity
        • Introduction
        • Effects of Exercise on Immune Function
        • Role of Exercise in Enhancing Brain Capacity Through Neuroplasticity
        • Immunity of the CNS
        • Effects of Exercise-Altered Immune Function on Neuroplasticity
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 238
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2017
  • Published: December 15, 2016
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128050941
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128052624

About the Editor

Ronald Watson

Ronald Watson
Ronald Ross Watson, PhD, is Professor of Health Promotion Sciences at the University of Arizona, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. Dr. Watson began his research in public health at the Harvard School of Public Health as a Fellow in 1971 doing field work on vaccines in Saudi Arabia. He has done clinical studies in Colombia, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United States which provides a broad international view of public health. He has served in the military reserve hospital for 17 years with extensive training in medical responses to disasters as the chief biochemistry officer of a general hospital, retiring as a Lt. Colonel. He is a distinguished member of several national and international nutrition, immunology, and cancer societies. Dr. Watson’s career has involved studying many lifestyle aspects for their uses in health promotion. He has edited over 100 biomedical reference books and 450 papers and chapters. His teaching and research focuses on alcohol, tobacco, and drugs of abuse in heart function and disease in mouse models.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and School of Medicine, Arizona Health Sciences Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

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