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Open AccessArticle

Systematic Balance Exercises Influence Cortical Activation and Serum BDNF Levels in Older Adults

1
Institute of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Science, Jagiellonian University Medical College, 31-126 Krakow, Poland
2
Department of Clinical Rehabilitation, Faculty of Motor Rehabilitation, University of Physical Education in Krakow, 31-571 Krakow, Poland
3
Brain Imaging Core Facility, Malopolska Centre of Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University, 30-387 Krakow, Poland
4
Department of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-343 Krakow, Poland
5
Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, University of Physical Education in Krakow, 31-571 Krakow, Poland
6
Department of Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroergonomics, Institute of Applied Psychology, Jagiellonian University, 30-348 Krakow, Poland
7
Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, 31-503 Krakow, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(11), 1910; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8111910 (registering DOI)
Received: 20 September 2019 / Revised: 23 October 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 7 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Neurology)
: We sought to investigate whether systematic balance training modulates brain area activity responsible for postural control and influence brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA protein expression. Seventy-four older adults were randomly divided into three groups (mean age 65.34 ± 3.79 years, 30 females): Classic balance exercises (CBT), virtual reality balance exercises (VBT), and control (CON). Neuroimaging studies were performed at inclusion and after completion of the training or 12 weeks later (CON). Blood samples were obtained to measure BDNF expression. The study revealed significant interaction of sessions and groups: In the motor imagery (MI) condition for supplementary motor area (SMA) activity (Fat peak = 5.25, p < 0.05); in the action observation (AO) condition for left and right supramarginal gyrus/posterior insula (left: Fat peak = 6.48, p < 0.05; right: Fat peak = 6.92, p < 0.05); in the action observation together with motor imagery (AOMI) condition for the middle occipital gyrus (laterally)/area V5 (left: Fat peak = 6.26, p < 0.05; right: Fat peak = 8.37, p < 0.05), and in the cerebellum–inferior semilunar lobule/tonsil (Fat peak = 5.47, p < 0.05). After the training serum BDNF level has increased in CBT (p < 0.001) and in CBT compared to CON (p < 0.05). Systematic balance training may reverse the age-related cortical over-activations and appear to be a factor mediating neuroplasticity in older adults.
Keywords: neuroplasticity; balance training; older adult; fMRI neuroplasticity; balance training; older adult; fMRI
MDPI and ACS Style

Kubica, J.; Szymura, J.; Domagalik, A.; Golda, S.; Wiecek, M.; Fafrowicz, M.; Marek, T.; Pera, J. Systematic Balance Exercises Influence Cortical Activation and Serum BDNF Levels in Older Adults. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 1910.

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