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Marie Oben

Oben, M. (2009, May). Continuing exercise after brief cessation: The effects of BDNF regulation, depression, and anxiety. * Winner of a Myron Marlay SMP Grant.
Mentor: Dr. Aileen Bailey

Abstract

There is evidence to support the up-regulation of BDNF and improvement of depressive and anxiety symptoms as a result of exercise in both human and animal models. However, some animals models do not support these results. There is also a lack of research on the effects of cessation and reoccurrence of exercise. The current study investigated the effects of exercise, exercise cessation, and reoccurrence of exercise on BDNF levels in the hippocampus and behavioral measures of depression and anxiety (forced swim test, sucrose preference test, elevated plus maze) in four groups of adult rats. Results do not support the hypotheses that voluntary access to running wheels would cause an up-regulation of BDNF and a decrease in depressive and anxiety symptoms (as compared to controls), nor were there noticeable trends regarding BDNF and behavior in the groups that experienced cessation or reoccurrence of exercise. While some past research conflicts with these results, there is also some research to support them. Explanations, limitations of the current study, and the need for further research are discussed.


Read the paper (download the pdf)