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Effects on the Hippocampal Volume and Function: Stress and Depression Versus Physical Exercise
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In this essay, changes in the human hippocampal volume and function induced by stress, depression and physical exercise are examined. Hippocampus is crucially involved in the acquisition and retrieval of episodic and spatial memory, and hippocampal volume correlates with episodic and spatial memory performance. Hippocampus has substantial plasticity and changes with age, but also in response to experiential factors across life. Stress and, under at least some circumstances, also depression have negative effects on hippocampal volume and memory function. The negative effects are believed to accelerate age-related decline in volume and function, mediated by exaggerated cortisol levels and dysfunction in the HPA-axis. Physical exercise is examined from two perspectives; aerobic and strength exercise. Aerobic exercise increases hippocampal volume across various ages and decelerates age-related hippocampal degeneration, whereas support for strength exercise-induced effects are mixed and need to be studied further. The positive effects are believed to be mediated by increased BDNF levels and regional cerebral blood volume. Although hippocampal volume normally correlates with hippocampus-dependent memory, studies on exercise-induced changes in human hippocampus-dependent memory have reported inconsistent results. Animal studies have observed both the negative and positive effects on hippocampal volume to relate to changes in neurogenesis, cell proliferation, and dendritic complexity. The negative and positive effects on hippocampal volume have been observed to be non-permanent, suggesting that physical exercise may prevent, attenuate and possibly reverse hippocampal degeneration induced by stress and depression. Further, more studies on sex and age differences, exercise intervention designs and functional values of physical exercise would be of value.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 55
Keywords [en]
hippocampus, hippocampal volume, hippocampal function, memory, stress, depression, physical exercise
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-15525OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-15525DiVA, id: diva2:1216944
Subject / course
Cognitive Neuroscience
Educational program
Psychological Coach
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-13 Created: 2018-06-12 Last updated: 2018-06-13Bibliographically approved

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290b0171ed196370ab5ba5e76a2c3516501c07800400f7ab27ad7a77f2fd416230ef147982e76581120ce21de0a6045ad78f38e51ac7b898cbad911ea60dd914
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf