Document Type

Article

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Public Health

Abstract

Introduction: Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been implicated in memory, learning, and neurodegenerative disease. However, the relationship of BDNF with cardiometabolic risk factors is unclear, and the effect of exercise training on BDNF has not been previously explored in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: Men and women (N=150) with type 2 diabetes were randomized to an aerobic exercise (aerobic), resistance exercise (resistance), or a combination of both (combination) for 9 months. Serum BDNF levels were evaluated at baseline and follow-up from archived blood samples.

Results: Baseline serum BDNF was not associated with fitness, body composition, anthropometry, glucose control, or strength measures (all, p>0.05). Similarly, no significant change in serum BDNF levels was observed following exercise training in the aerobic (-1649.4 pg/ml, CI: -4768.9 to 1470.2), resistance (-2351.2 pg/ml, CI: -5290.7 to 588.3), or combination groups (-827.4 pg/ml, CI: -3533.3 to 1878.5) compared to the control group (-2320.0 pg/ml, CI: -5750.8 to 1110.8). However, reductions in waist circumference were directly associated with changes in serum BDNF following training (r=0.25, p=0.005).

Conclusions: Serum BDF was not associated with fitness, body composition, anthropometry, glucose control, or strength measures at baseline. Likewise, serum BDNF measures were not altered by 9 months of aerobic, resistance, or combination training. However, reductions in waist circumference were associated with decreased serum BDNF levels. Future studies should investigate the relevance of BDNF with measures of cognitive function specifically in individuals with type-2 diabetes.

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