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The Role of Sex in Memory Function: Considerations and Recommendations in the Context of Exercise

Exercise Psychology Laboratory, Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory, School of Applied Sciences, Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi, MS 38677, USA
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J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(6), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7060132
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Function)
There is evidence to suggest that biological sex plays a critical role in memory function, with sex differentially influencing memory type. In this review, we detail the current evidence evaluating sex-specific effects on various memory types. We also discuss potential mechanisms that explain these sex-specific effects, which include sex differences in neuroanatomy, neurochemical differences, biological differences, and cognitive and affect-related differences. Central to this review, we also highlight that, despite the established sex differences in memory, there is little work directly comparing whether males and females have a differential exercise-induced effect on memory function. As discussed herein, such a differential effect is plausible given the clear sex-specific effects on memory, exercise response, and molecular mediators of memory. We emphasize that future work should be carefully powered to detect sex differences. Future research should also examine these potential exercise-related sex-specific effects for various memory types and exercise intensities and modalities. This will help enhance our understanding of whether sex indeed moderates the effects of exercise and memory function, and as such, will improve our understanding of whether sex-specific, memory-enhancing interventions should be developed, implemented, and evaluated. View Full-Text
Keywords: consolidation; episodic; exercise; memory; physical activity; retrieval consolidation; episodic; exercise; memory; physical activity; retrieval
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Loprinzi, P.D.; Frith, E. The Role of Sex in Memory Function: Considerations and Recommendations in the Context of Exercise. J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7, 132.

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