Exercise improves recognition memory and synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex for rats modelling vascular dementia.
Neurol Res. 2018 Jan ;40(1):68-77. Epub 2017 Nov 10. PMID: 29126372
OBJECTIVES: Functional electrical stimulation (FES) may induce involuntary exercise and make beneficial effects on vascular dementia (VD) by strengthening the BDNF-pCREB-mediated pathway and hippocampal plasticity. Whether FES improves recognition memory and synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) was investigated by establishing a VD model.
METHODS: The VD rats were administered with two weeks of voluntary exercise, forced exercise, or involuntary exercise induced with FES. Sham-operated and control groups were also included. The behavioral changes were assessed with the novel object recognition test and novel object location test. The expression levels of key proteins related to synaptic plasticity in the PFC were also detected.
RESULTS: All types of exercise improved the rats' novel object recognition index, but only voluntary exercise and involuntary exercise induced with FES improved the novel object location index. Any sort of exercise enhanced the expression of key proteins in the PFC.
CONCLUSION: Involuntary exercise induced with FES can improve recognition memory in VD better than forced exercise. The mechanism is associated with increased synaptic plasticity in the PFC. FES may be a useful alternative tool for cognitive rehabilitation.