Document Type : Research Paper I Open Access I Released under CC BY-NC 4.0 license


1 MSc, Research Committee, Abadan School of Medical Sciences, Abadan, Iran

2 . MSc, Research Committee, Abadan School of Medical Sciences, Abadan, Iran

3 MSc, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Khorasgan (Isfahan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran

4 MSc in Statistics, Ahvaz Jundishapour University of Medical Sciences, Khuzestan, Iran

5 MSc, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is structurally similar to nerve growth factor is produced in the hippocampus and is one of the factors that is reduced by age due to lack of activity. Reduced BDNF has effects on memory, learning and cognition, behavioral disorders, food intake and energy metabolism that can be compensated with exercise and the incidence of Alzheimer can be prevented. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Pilates exercise on serum BDNF level in elderly men.  20 elderly men were randomly divided into experimental and control groups with mean age (control: 65 ± 2.67, experimental: 64 ± 2.62) and mean weight (control: 73 ± 3.59, experimental: 71 ± 3.54). Fasting blood samples were collected 24 hours before and 24 hours after the end of protocol. Then, experimental group received Pilates exercise for 12 weeks, 5 sessions per week, and 60 minutes per sessions while the control group received no intervention but were followed. Paired t test was used for intragroup comparisons and independent t test was used for intergroup comparison. Findings showed that BDNF levels significantly increased in experimental group compared to control (P<0.05). The results of this study suggested that Pilates exercises as an effective and safe method increased serum BDNF levels in elderly men. Thus, as BDNF decreases in the elderly due to their sedentariness, it can be compensated by safe and cost-effective Pilates exercises.


. زکوی ای، زکوی الف، تقیان ف. تأثیر تمرینات پیلاتس بر مقادیر گرلین و ابستاتین سالمندان چاق. ماهنامۀ علمی و پژوهشی علوم پزشکی شهید صدوقی یزد. 1394، 23(3): 2031-2022.
2. Alessio HM, Goldfarb AH. (1988). Lipid peroxidation and scavenger enzymes during exercise adaptative response to training. J  Appl Physiol. 64. 1333-1336.
3. Aydemir C, Yalcin E S, Akaaray S, Kisa C, Yildirim S G, Uzbay T, Goka E.(2006). Brain derived neuropsychopharmacol. Biol Psychiatry. 30 .1256-1260.
4. Babayigit Irez B, Ozdemir RA, Evin R, Irez SG, Korkusuz F. (2011). Integrating Pilates exercise into an exercise program for 65+ year-old women to reduce falls. J Sports Sci Med. 10: 11  105.
5. Barde Y A, Edgar D and Thoenen H. (1982). Purification of a new neurotrophic factor from mammalian brain. EMBO J. 1: 549-152.
6. Carmeli E,  Laviam G, Reznick A Z. (2000). The role of antioxidant nutrition inexercise and agine, in: Z. Rad' ak, (Ed), Free Radicals in Exercise and Aging, Human Kinetics. Champaign. pp 73-115.
7. Currie J  R,  Ludlow  H,  Nevill A,  Gilder  M. (2009). Cardio-respiratory fitness, habitual physical activity and serum brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in men and women Neuroscience Letters. 451. 152-155.
8. Chan K L, Tong  K Y, Yip  S P. (2008). Relationship of serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and health-related hifesyle in healthy human subjects, Neurosci. Lett. 447. 124-128.
9. Chiaamello S, Dalmasso G, Bezin L, Marcel D, Jourdan F, Peretto P, et al. (2007). BDNF/TrkB interaction regulates migration of SVZ precursor cells via PI3-K and MAP-K signalling pathways. European Journal of Neuroscience. 26(7). 1780-1790.
10. Deslandes AC, Moraes H, Alves H, Pompeu FA, Silveira H, Mouta R, et al. (2010). Effect of aerobic training on EEG alpha asymmetry and depressive symptoms in the elderly: a 1-year follow-up study. Braz J Med Biol Res . 43(6): 585-92.
11. Donovan  M J, Miranda R C, Kraemer R, McCaffrey T A, Tessaroll L, Mahadeo D S, et all. (1995). Neurotrophin and neurotrophin receptors in vascular smooth muscle cells. Regulation of expression to injury. Am.  J. Pathol. 147 (2). 309-342.
12. Ferreira AF, Real CC, Rodrigues AC, Alves AS, Britto LR. (2011). Short-term, moderate exercise is capable of inducing structural, BDNF-independent hippocampal plasticity. Brain research. 1425:111- 22.
13. Goekint, M, DePauw, K, Roelands, B, Njemini, R, Bautmans, I, Mets, T, et al. (2010). Strength training does not inXuence serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Eur J Appl Physiol, 110(2):285-93.
14. Gold S M, Schulz K H, Hartmann S, Mladek M, Lange U E, Hellweg R, et all. (2003). Basal serum levels and reactivity of never growth factor and brain-derive neurotrophic factor to standardized acute exercise inmultiple sclerosis and controls. J. Neuroimmunol. 138. 99-105.
15. Go mez-Pinilla F, Ying Z, Opazo P, Roy R R, Edgerton VR. (2001). Diffrential regulation by exercise of BDNF and NT-3 in rat spinal cord and skeletal muscle. Eur.J. Neurosci. 13. 1078-1084.
16. Griffin E, Foley C, Mullally S O',  Mara S, Kelly A. (2007). The effect of acute exercise on hippocampal based learning and serum growth factor concentration in sedentary young men Behavioural pharmacology 135, 96-104.
17. Huang A, Jen C, Chen H, Yu L, Kuo Y, Chen H-I. (2006). Compulsive exercise acutely upregulates rat hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Journal of neural transmission. 113(7):803-11.
18.Johnson E G, Larsen A, Ozawa H, Wilson C A, Kennedy K L. (2007). The effects of Pilates-based exercise on dynamic balance in healthy adults. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 11(3): 238-42.
19.Kaesler D S, Mellifont R R, Kelly PS, Taaffe D R. (2007). A novel balance exercise program for postural stability in older adults: A pilot study. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 11(1): 37-43.
20. Karege F, Schwald M. (2002). Postnatal developmental profile of brain derivde neurotrophic factor in rat brain and platelets. Neurosci. Lett. 328 (3). 261-264.
21. Kernie S G, Liebl D J, Parada L F. (2000). BDNF regulates eating behavior and locomotor actinity in mice. EMBO J. 19. 1290-1300.
22.Kristin S. (2005). Integrating pilates-based core strengthening into older adult fitness programs implications for practice. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation. 21(1): 57-67.
23. Kuipers  H. (1994). Exercise-induced muscle damage, Int. J. Sports Med. 15. 132-135.
24. Lang U E, Hellweg R, Seifert F, Schubet F, & Gallinat J. (2007). Correlation between serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor level and an in vivo marker of cortical integrity. Biological Psychiatry. 62(5). 530-535.
25.Latey P. (2001). The Pilates method: history and philosophy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies . 5(4): 275-82.
26. Leibrock  J, Lottspeich  F, Hohn  A, Hofer M, Hengerer B,  Masiakowski P, Thoenen H, and Barde YA. (1989). Molecular cloning and expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Nature. 341. 149-152.
27. Liu J F, Chang W Y, Chan K H, Tsai W Y, Lin C L, Hsu M C. (2005). Blood lipid peroxides and muscle damage increased following intensive resistance training of female weightlifters. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1042. 255-261.
28. Lommatzsch  M, Braum A, Mannsfeldt A, Botchkarev V A, Botchkareva N V, Paus R, Fischer A, Lewin G R, Renz  H. (1999). Abundant production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor by adult visceral epithelia. Implications for paracrine and target-derived neurotrophic function. Am. J. Pathol.155 (4). 1183-1193.
29. Lommatzsch M,  Zingler  D,  Schloetcke K,  Zingler C, Schuff-Werner P, Virchow J C. (2005). the impact of age, weight and gender on BDNF levels in human platelets and plasma. Neurobiol Aging. 26. 115-123.
30. Luger A, Deuster P A, Kyle S B, Gallucci W T, Montgomery L C, Gold P W, Loriaux D L, Chrousos GP. (1987). Acute hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal responses to the stress of treadmill exercise. Physiologic adaptations to physical training. NEJM. 316. 1309-1315.
31. Ma Y L, Wang H L,Wu H C, Lee E H Y. (1998). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor antisense oligonucleotid impairs memory and inhabits long term potentiation in rats. Neurosience. 82. 957-967.
32. Mizuno M, Yamada K, Olariu A,Nawa H, Nabeshima T. (2000). Involvement of brain derived neurotrophic factor in spatial memory formation andmaintenance in a radial arm maze test in rats. J Neurosci. 20. 7116-7121.
33. Molteni R, Wu A, Vaynman  S, Ying  Z,  Barbard R J, Gomez-Pinilla  F. (2004).  Exrecise reverse the harmful effects of consumption of a high-fat diet on synapticand behavioral plasticity associated to the action of barin-derived neurotrophic factor. Neuroscience. 123. 429-440.
34. Murakami S, Imbe  H,  Morikawa Y, Kubo C, Senba  E. (2005). Chronic stress, as well as acute stress, reduces BDNF mRNA expression in the rat hippocampus but less robustly. Neurosci Res. 53. 129-139.
35. Nakagawa T, Tsuchida A, Itakura Y, Nonomura T, One M, Hirota F,  Inoue T,  Nakayama C, Taiiji M, Noguchi H. (2000). Brain- derive neurotrophic factor regulates glucose metabolism by modulating energy balance in diabetic mic. Diabetes. 49. 436-444
36. Nakazaton M, Hashimoto K, Shimizu E, Kumakiri C, Koizumi H, Okamura N, Mitsumori M, Komatsu N, Iyo  M. (2003). Decreased levele of serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor in female patients whit eating disorder. Biol Psychiatry. 54. 485-490.
37. Neeper S A, Go mez-Pinnilla F, Choi J, Cotman  C W. (1996). Physical activity increases mRNA for barin-derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor in rat barin. Brain Res. 726. 49-56.
38. Nofuji Y, Suwa M, MoriyamabY, Nakano H, Ichimiya  A, Nishichi R, Sasaki H, Radak Z, Kumagai S. (2008). Decreased serum-brain derived neurotrophic factor in trained men. Neuro  Lett. 437. 29-32.
39. Oliff H S, Berchold  N C, Isackson P, Cotman C W. (1998). Exercis- induced regulation of barin-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) transcripts in the rat hippocampus. Brain Res. Mol Brain Res. 61. 147-153.
40. Pilates S. (1998). Stott pilates comprehensive matwork manual. Canada, Merrithew Cooperation.
41. Radka S F, Holst P A, Fristche M. Altar C A. (1996). Presence of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in brain and huma and rat but not mouse serum detected by a sensitive and specific immunoassay. Brain Res. 709. 122-130.
42. Rojas- Vega S H, Struder K, Wahrmann B V, Schmidt A, Bloch W, Hollmann W. (2006). Acute BDNF and cortisol response to low intensity exercise and following ramp incremental exercise to exhaustion in humans. BrainRes. 1121 (1). 59-65.
43. Russo-Neustadt A A, Beard R C, Huang Y M, Cotman C W. (2000). Physical activity and antidepressant treatment potentiate the expression of specific brain-derived neurotrophic factor transcripts in the rat hippocampus. Neuroscience. 101 (2). 305-12.
44.Segal NA, Hein J, Basford JR. (2004). The effects of Pilates training on flexibility and body composition: an observational study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil.  85(12): 1977-81.
45. Schiffer, T, Schulte, S, Hollmann, W, Bloch, W, Strüder, H.K. (2009). Effects of strength and endurance training on brain-derived neurotrophic factor and insulinlike growth factor 1 in humans. Horm Metab Res, 41(3):250-4.
46. Silva YO, Melo MO, Gomes LE, Bonezi A, Bonezi A. (2009). Ana'lise da resistência externa e daatividade eletromiogra'fica do movimento de extensa~o de quadril realizado segundo o método Pilates. Rev bras fisioter. 13(1): 82-8.
47. Siqueira Rodrigues BG, Ali Cader S, Bento Torres NV, Oliveira EM, Martin Dantas EH. (2010). Pilates method in personal autonomy, static balance and quality of life of elderly females. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 14(2): 195-202.
48. Sjosten N, Kivela SL. (2006). The effects of physical exercise on depressive symptoms among the aged, a systematic review. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 21(5): 410–8.
49. Soya H, Nakamura T, Deocaris C C, Kimpara A, Iimura M, Fujikawa T, Chang H, McEwen B S, Nishijima T. (2007). BDNF induction with mild exercise in the rat hippocampus. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 358 (4). 961-967.
50. Suwa M, Kishimoto H, Notuji Y, Nakano H, Sasaki H, Radak Z, Kumagai S. (2006).  Serum  brain-derived  neurotrophic  factor  level  is  increased  and associated with obesity in newly diagnosed female patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metabolism. 55. 852-857.
51. Szatmari, E. Kalaita, K. B. Kharebava, G, & Hetman, M. (2007). Role of kinase suppressor of Ras-I in neuronal survival signaling by extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2. Journal of Neuroscience: 27(42). 11389-11400.
52. Tang, S.W., Chu, E. Hui, T. Helmeste, D. Law, C.(2008). Influence of exercise on serum barin-derived neurotrophic factor concentrations in healthy human subjects, Neurosci. Lett: 431. 62-65.
53. Vega R S, Struder  H K, Wahrmann VB, Schmidt A, Bloch W, Hollmann W. (2006). Acute BDNF and cortisol response to low intensity exercise and following ramp incremental exercise to exhaustion in humans. Brain Res. 1121. 59-65.
54. Wang H, Ward N, Boswell M, Katz D M. (2006). Secretion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor from brain microvascular endothelial cell. European Journal of Neuroscience. 23(6). 1665-1670.
55. Yang Z F, Ho D W, Lau  C K,Tam K H, Lam C T, Poon R T, Fan S T. (2006). Platelet activation during tumor develooment role of BDNF-TrkB autocrine loop. Biochem. Biophys. Res Commun. 346 (3). 981-985.
56-zakavi I, sharifi M, panahizadeh M, valipour A. (2014).  Effect of eight weeks roping Interleukin 18 and C-reactive protein The in overweight and obese adolescents. 6 (11) :37-48.
57- zakavi I, Bizhani B, Banihashemi Emamghaysi. (2015).   The Effect of an Eight-Week Rope Skipping Exercise Program on Interleukin-10 and C-Reactive Protein in Overweight and Obese Adolescents. Jentashapir Journal of Health Research. 6(4): e24720 , DOI: 10.5812/jjhr.24720v2.