University of Oulu

Autio, J.; Stenbäck, V.; Gagnon, D.D.; Leppäluoto, J.; Herzig, K.-H. (Neuro) Peptides, Physical Activity, and Cognition. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 2592.

(Neuro) peptides, physical activity, and cognition

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Author: Autio, Juho1; Stenbäck, Ville1,2; Gagnon, Dominique D.1,3,4;
Organizations: 1Institute of Biomedicine, Medical Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, 90220 Oulu, Finland
2Biocenter Oulu, 90220 Oulu, Finland
3Laboratory of Environmental Exercise Physiology, School of Human Kinetics, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON P3E 2C6, Canada
4Center of Research in Occupational Safety and Health, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON P3E 2C6, Canada
5Department of Gastroenterology and Metabolism, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, 60-572 Poznan, Poland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-12-02


Regular physical activity (PA) improves cognitive functions, prevents brain atrophy, and delays the onset of cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Presently, there are no specific recommendations for PA producing positive effects on brain health and little is known on its mediators. PA affects production and release of several peptides secreted from peripheral and central tissues, targeting receptors located in the central nervous system (CNS). This review will provide a summary of the current knowledge on the association between PA and cognition with a focus on the role of (neuro)peptides. For the review we define peptides as molecules with less than 100 amino acids and exclude myokines. Tachykinins, somatostatin, and opioid peptides were excluded from this review since they were not affected by PA. There is evidence suggesting that PA increases peripheral insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels and elevated serum IGF-1 levels are associated with improved cognitive performance. It is therefore likely that IGF-1 plays a role in PA induced improvement of cognition. Other neuropeptides such as neuropeptide Y (NPY), ghrelin, galanin, and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) could mediate the beneficial effects of PA on cognition, but the current literature regarding these (neuro)peptides is limited.

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Series: Journal of clinical medicine
ISSN: 2077-0383
ISSN-E: 2077-0383
ISSN-L: 2077-0383
Volume: 9
Issue: 8
Article number: 2592
DOI: 10.3390/jcm9082592
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
Copyright information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (