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Benefits of Gardening Activities for Cognitive Function According to Measurement of Brain Nerve Growth Factor Levels

1
Department of Environmental Health Science, Sanghuh College of Life Science, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Korea
2
Sport Science Center, Daejeon 35021, Korea
3
Department of Sport Science, Chugnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050760
Received: 4 February 2019 / Revised: 23 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 2 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Based Therapies and Human Health)
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Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of gardening activities in senior individuals on brain nerve growth factors related to cognitive function. Forty-one senior individuals (age 76.6 ± 6.0 years) were recruited from the local community in Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea. A 20-min low-to-moderate intensity gardening activity intervention, making a vegetable garden, was performed by the subjects in a garden plot located on the Konkuk University (Seoul, South Korea) campus. The gardening involved six activities including cleaning a garden plot, digging, fertilizing, raking, planting/transplanting, and watering. To determine the effects of the gardening activities on brain nerve growth factors related to memory, blood samples were drawn twice from each subject before and after the gardening activity by professional nurses. The levels of brain nerve growth factors, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), were analyzed. Levels of BDNF and PDGF were significantly increased after the gardening activity. This study revealed a potential benefit of gardening activities for cognitive function in senior individuals. View Full-Text
Keywords: complementary and medicine; exercise intervention; horticultural therapy; socio horticulture; older adults complementary and medicine; exercise intervention; horticultural therapy; socio horticulture; older adults
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Park, S.-A.; Lee, A.-Y.; Park, H.-G.; Lee, W.-L. Benefits of Gardening Activities for Cognitive Function According to Measurement of Brain Nerve Growth Factor Levels. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 760.

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