The Effect of Pilates Exercises on Serum BDNF Level in Elderly Men

Document Type : Research Paper


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.


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