The Association Between Physical Activity With Cognitive Function and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in People With Parkinson’s Disease: A Pilot Study

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The objective of this study was to examine the effect of physical capacity on the relationship of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) with cognitive function in people with PD. For this study, serum BDNF levels were measured in 29 PD participants and 30 healthy controls. Cognitive function was assessed using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) scale. Physical capacity was evaluated using the 6-min walk distance (6-MWD). Participants were categorized into low or high physical capacity group according to their 50th percentile 6-MWD. It was found that MOCA total score correlated with serum BDNF level (r = .44, P = .012) in the entire PD sample. This correlation remained significant only in the low physical capacity group (r = .62; P = .03) but not in the high physical capacity group (r = .31; P = .22). It was concluded that the relationship of BDNF with cognitive function might be dependent on physical capacity. The results are preliminary, thus future studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Khalil is with the Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan. Alomari is with Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan. Khabour and Al-Hieshan are with the Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan. Bajwa is with King Saud Bin AbdulAziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and Parkinson’s, Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, Department of Neurology, National Neuroscience Institute, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Address author correspondence to Hanan Khalil at hwkhalil8@just.edu.jo.
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