About this Research Topic
Different studies have shown that physical exercise improves the efficiency of the capillary system and increases the supply of oxygen to the brain, affecting the improvement of metabolic activity and oxygen intake in neurons, positively influencing different brain functions (e.g., attention, working memory). Moreover, there is evidence that participation in physical activity may improve white matter integrity and activation of regions key to cognitive processes. In addition, physical activity buffers the negative effects of stress on cognitive performance in children and may have a positive effect on memory and executive functions. The anti-depressant neurotransmitters like monoamines are increased by exercise that, for mild and moderate depression, may be as effective as serotonergic medications. Further, physical activity may have an anti-aging resilience effect on the brain, by influencing genes associated with neuroprotective signaling. However, additional larger hypothesis-driven studies are needed to replicate findings and generate robust conclusions.
The main objective of this Research Topic is to gather studies that shed more light on the benefits of physical activity in the neurophysiological system, from childhood to older adults, and from the field of health to sports or professional performance. For example, more studies are needed that deepen into the epigenetic mechanisms involved in the aging process and their modulation through physical exercise, improving prevention and treatment therapies in relation to the neurophysiological system. On the other hand, it is necessary to better understand how physical activity improves brain functions, including increased hippocampus, or the effect of cognitive loads in different variables, such as heart rate variability or brain waves. We also consider it especially interesting physical activity studies preventive strategy for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, and consequently, increase life expectance and life quality.
Some examples of themes that we hope to receive for this Research Topic are studies that contemplate (but not limited to) the following aspects:
• Latest advances on neurophysiological and epigenetic effects of physical exercise on the aging.
• Beneficial effects of physical activity and sport on anti-aging and neuroprotective influence.
• Effects of physical exercise to prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
• Relationship between physical exercise practice and improvement of brain functions.
• Effects of cognitive loads at the neurophysiological level.
• Neurophysiological system behavior and sports or professional performance.
Image: Dr. Juan Pedro Fuentes García
Keywords: exercise, physical activity, neurophysiology, nervous system, brain, executive functions, quality of life, aging, detraining
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