Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor ( Bdnf )

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I. Abstract Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is known to increase synaptic efficacy and promote neuronal survival. This protein is also a biomarker for impaired general cognitive function and memory. Studies have bee conducted on mice measuring the concentration of circulating, also called plasma or serum, BDNF in the blood of these animals when they exercise. Exercise has been proven to increase cognitive function and links between a large level of BDNF in the bloodstream and improved results on spatial/ cognitive testing of these rats shows that BDNF correlates to an increase in memory and cognitive abilities. In this research, studies with varying results on BDNF and exercise were taken and summarized in hopes of finding a…show more content…
This protein circulates throughout the central nervous system and the concentrations can be measured in platelets (Corripio, Gónzalez-Clemente, Jacobo, Silvia, Lluis, Joan, Assumpta, 2012). BDNF neurotrophins bind with high affinity to its respective receptor, TrkB. These signals flow to other protein enzymes downstream of that where they regulate synaptic functioning and maintain cell viability (Tadahiro, Richards, Shingo, Naoki, Miyako, Haruki, Xin, 2014). Studies performed on rats show a crucial link between BDNF release and memory/ cognitive functioning. After two months on an HFS diet (high amounts of refined sugars and fats) the hippocampal level of BDNF and spatial learning performance in these rats was noticeable reduced. Diet-related changes were specific to the hippocampus because of its role in memory formation and that is one of the main places BDNF is produced and circulates (Molteni, Barnard, Ying, Roberts, Gómez-Pinilla, 2002). These decreased cognitive functions cooresponded to a decreased amount of BDNF measured in the blood stream. It is also well documented through research that BDNF protects neurons from degeneration due to the cascade of effects it has on other proteins and enzymes when it is released. Therefore, the reductions of BDNF that are seen resulting from an HSF diet may decrease a neurons ability to natural protect itself from degeneration (Molteni, et al., 2002). Inversely, an increased amount of serum BDNF circulating in
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