The purpose of this study was to summarize the effects of physical activity and exercise on peripheral brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in healthy humans. Experimental and observational studies were identified from PubMed, Web of Knowledge, Scopus, and SPORT Discus. A total of 32 articles met the inclusion criteria. Evidence from experimental studies suggested that peripheral BDNF concentrations were elevated by acute and chronic aerobic exercise. The majority of the studies suggested that strength training had no influence on peripheral BDNF. The results from most observational studies suggested an inverse relationship between the peripheral BDNF level and habitual physical activity or cardiorespiratory fitness. More research is needed to confirm the findings from the observational studies.
Journal review article
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 2014, Vol 24, Issue 1