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Type: Journal article
Title: Acute aerobic exercise and neuroplasticity of the motor cortex: a systematic review
Author: Mellow, M.L.
Goldsworthy, M.R.
Coussens, S.
Smith, A.E.
Citation: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 2019; 23(4):408-414
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 1440-2440
Statement of
Maddison L. Mellow, Mitchell R. Goldsworthy, Scott Coussens, Ashleigh E. Smith
Abstract: OBJECTIVES:To synthesise the existing literature investigating if acute aerobic exercise enhances the response to experimentally-induced neuroplasticity paradigms. METHODS:A systematic search of electronic databases Medline, PsycInfo and Embase was undertaken on 26 April 2018 and updated on 17 May 2019. Studies were included if they involved a bout of aerobic exercise; prescribed a bout of rest as a control condition; utilized a non-invasive brain stimulation paradigm to induce neuroplasticity; used TMS to assess neuroplasticity outcomes; participants were healthy 18-65year old males and females with no diagnosed neurological/psychological impairments. RESULTS:Eight papers (containing 12 experiments) met inclusion criteria. All studies utilized cycling or treadmill exercise as their exercise modality, and exercise intensity ranged from low intensity continuous exercise to high-intensity interval exercise. Four neuroplasticity paradigms were employed including paired associative stimulation (PAS) (n=3), continuous theta-burst stimulation (cTBS) (n=2), intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS) (n=2) and transcranial direct current stimulation (n=1). Aerobic exercise enhanced neuroplastic responses (compared to rest) in seven of the 12 experiments. CONCLUSIONS:This review provides emerging evidence that acute aerobic exercise can enhance the response to experimentally-induced neuroplasticity paradigms. However, there remains great variability in the study design and reporting of effects in these studies and thus a more standardized approach is encouraged to better understand the relationship between acute aerobic exercise and neuroplasticity. Future studies should consider optimizing intensity, paradigms and duration of both exercise and neuroplasticity paradigms employed.
Keywords: Acute exercise
Brain stimulation
Neuronal plasticity
Rights: © 2019 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2019.10.015
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