Exercise and Neurodegenerative Disease 2.0

A special issue of Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology (ISSN 2411-5142). This special issue belongs to the section "Sports Medicine and Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 March 2024) | Viewed by 13496

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
Interests: neuroanatomy; neuromorphology; molecular biology; diabetic retinopathy; neurodegenerative disease; neuropetides
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, University of Catania, 95123 Catania, Italy
Interests: neuroscience; neurodegeneration; molecular biology; peptides
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is a growing body of evidence indicating the beneficial effects of exercise on humans. Physical exercise increases blood flow throughout the brain, ameliorates functional and neurocognitive ability, and reduces brain atrophy, neuroinflammation, and oxidative stress. Several studies have demonstrated that exercise can act as a weapon to counteract neurodegeneration. Physical exercise significantly improves the neurological symptoms of patients affected by neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). To date, there is no effective pharmacological treatment for these pathologies. However, animal and human studies have demonstrated exercise-induced neuroprotective effects in the prevention or delay of cognitive decline.

Despite all these achievements, further efforts are needed to better characterize the role of physical exercise during disease progression in order to understand the etiopathological mechanisms involved in neurodegeneration.

This Special Issue will focus on the “Exercise and Neurodegenerative Disease”. Authors are invited to submit original research papers and review articles.

Dr. Grazia Maugeri
Prof. Dr. Velia D'Agata
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • exercise
  • neuroprotection
  • neurodegenerative diseases
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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10 pages, 1485 KiB  
Communication
Mechanical and Contractile Properties of Knee Joint Muscles after Sports-Related Concussions in Women Footballers
by Georgios Kakavas, Athanasios Tsiokanos, Michael Potoupnis and Panagiotis V. Tsaklis
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2024, 9(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk9020065 - 07 Apr 2024
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to determine if women footballers have an increased lack of neuromuscular control of the knee joint after a concussion compared to a healthy cohort tested with tensiomyography (TMG). Forty-one female collegiate footballers were enrolled in this study [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to determine if women footballers have an increased lack of neuromuscular control of the knee joint after a concussion compared to a healthy cohort tested with tensiomyography (TMG). Forty-one female collegiate footballers were enrolled in this study from which there were 20 with a history of sports-related concussions (SRCs) and 21 control subjects. Results from the SRC group had significantly higher Tc (ms) (z = −5.478, p = 0.000) and significantly lower Dm (mm) (z = −3.835, p = 0.000) than the control group in the case of the rectus femoris muscle. The SRC group had significantly higher Tc (ms) (z = −2.348, p = 0.016) and significantly lower Dm (mm) (z = −4.776, p = 0.000) than the control group in the case of the vastus medialis muscle. The SRC group had significantly higher Tc (ms) (z = −5.400, p = 0.000) and significantly lower Dm (mm) (z = −4.971, p = 0.000) than the control group in the case of the vastus lateralis muscle. The SRC group had significantly higher Tc (ms) (z = −5.349, p = 0.000) than the control group in the case of the biceps femoris muscle response, whereas no significant difference was found in Dm (mm) (z = −0.198, p = 0.853) between the groups. The results of the current study may have implications for current practice standards regarding the evaluation and management of concussions and can add valuable information for knee prevention programs as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Neurodegenerative Disease 2.0)
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12 pages, 517 KiB  
Article
Internal or External Training Load Metrics: Which Is Best for Tracking Autonomic Nervous System Recovery and Function in Collegiate American Football?
by Eric Renaghan, Harrison L. Wittels, S. Howard Wittels, Michael Joseph Wishon, Dustin Hecocks, Eva D. Wittels, Stephanie Hendricks, Joe Girardi, Stephen J. Lee, Samantha M. McDonald and Luis A. Feigenbaum
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2024, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk9010005 - 21 Dec 2023
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Abstract
Sport coaches increasingly rely on external load metrics for designing effective training programs. However, their accuracy in estimating internal load is inconsistent, and their ability to predict autonomic nervous system (ANS) deterioration is unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the relationships between internal [...] Read more.
Sport coaches increasingly rely on external load metrics for designing effective training programs. However, their accuracy in estimating internal load is inconsistent, and their ability to predict autonomic nervous system (ANS) deterioration is unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the relationships between internal and external training load metrics and ANS recovery and function in college football players. Football athletes were recruited from a D1 college in the southeastern US and prospectively followed for 27 weeks. Internal load was estimated via exercise cardiac load (ECL; average training heartrate (HR) × session duration) and measured with an armband monitor equipped with electrocardiographic capabilities (Warfighter MonitorTM (WFM), Tiger Tech Solutions, Miami, FL, USA). External load was estimated via the summation and rate of acceleration and decelerations as measured by a triaxial accelerometer using the WFM and an accelerometer-based (ACCEL) device (Catapult Player Load, Catapult Sports, Melbourne, Australia) worn on the mid-upper back. Baseline HR, HR variability (HRV) and HR recovery served as the indicators for ANS recovery and function, respectively. For HRV, two, time-domain metrics were measured: the standard deviation of the NN interval (SDNN) and root mean square of the standard deviation of the NN interval (rMSSD). Linear regression models evaluated the associations between ECL, ACCEL, and the indicators of ANS recovery and function acutely (24 h) and cumulatively (one- and two-week). Athletes (n = 71) were male and, on average, 21.3 ± 1.4 years of age. Acute ECL elicited stronger associations for 24 h baseline HR (R2 0.19 vs. 0.03), HR recovery (R2 0.38 vs. 0.07), SDNN (R2 0.19 vs. 0.02) and rMSSD (R2 0.19 vs. 0.02) compared to ACCEL. Similar results were found for one-week: 24 h baseline HR (R2 0.48 vs. 0.05), HR recovery (R2 0.55 vs. 0.05), SDNN (R2 0.47 vs. 0.05) and rMSSD (R2 0.47 vs. 0.05) and two-week cumulative exposures: 24 h baseline HR (R2 0.52 vs. 0.003), HR recovery (R2 0.57 vs. 0.05), SDNN (R2 0.52 vs. 0.003) and rMSSD (R2 0.52 vs. 0.002). Lastly, the ACCEL devices weakly correlated with ECL (rho = 0.47 and 0.43, p < 0.005). Our findings demonstrate that ACCEL poorly predicted ANS deterioration and underestimated internal training load. ACCEL devices may “miss” the finite window for preventing ANS deterioration by potentially misestimating training loads acutely and cumulatively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Neurodegenerative Disease 2.0)
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Review

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13 pages, 918 KiB  
Review
Effects of Exercise on Skeletal Muscle Pathophysiology in Huntington’s Disease
by Bruno Trovato, Benedetta Magrì, Alessandro Castorina, Grazia Maugeri, Velia D’Agata and Giuseppe Musumeci
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2022, 7(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk7020040 - 11 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3006
Abstract
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a rare, hereditary, and progressive neurodegenerative disease, characterized by involuntary choreatic movements with cognitive and behavioral disturbances. In order to mitigate impairments in motor function, physical exercise was integrated in HD rehabilitative interventions, showing to be a powerful tool [...] Read more.
Huntington’s disease (HD) is a rare, hereditary, and progressive neurodegenerative disease, characterized by involuntary choreatic movements with cognitive and behavioral disturbances. In order to mitigate impairments in motor function, physical exercise was integrated in HD rehabilitative interventions, showing to be a powerful tool to ameliorate the quality of life of HD-affected patients. This review aims to describe the effects of physical exercise on HD-related skeletal muscle disorders in both murine and human models. We performed a literature search using PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases on the role of physical activity in mouse models of HD and human patients. Fifteen publications fulfilled the criteria and were included in the review. Studies performed on mouse models showed a controversial role played by exercise, whereas in HD-affected patients, physical activity appeared to have positive effects on gait, motor function, UHDMRS scale, cognitive function, quality of life, postural stability, total body mass, fatty acid oxidative capacity, and VO2 max. Physical activity seems to be feasible, safe, and effective for HD patients. However, further studies with longer follow-up and larger cohorts of patients will be needed to draw firm conclusions on the positive effects of exercise for HD patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Neurodegenerative Disease 2.0)
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18 pages, 9253 KiB  
Review
Physical Exercise and Health: A Focus on Its Protective Role in Neurodegenerative Diseases
by Roberto Bonanni, Ida Cariati, Umberto Tarantino, Giovanna D’Arcangelo and Virginia Tancredi
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2022, 7(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk7020038 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5778
Abstract
Scientific evidence has demonstrated the power of physical exercise in the prevention and treatment of numerous chronic and/or age-related diseases, such as musculoskeletal, metabolic, and cardiovascular disorders. In addition, regular exercise is known to play a key role in the context of neurodegenerative [...] Read more.
Scientific evidence has demonstrated the power of physical exercise in the prevention and treatment of numerous chronic and/or age-related diseases, such as musculoskeletal, metabolic, and cardiovascular disorders. In addition, regular exercise is known to play a key role in the context of neurodegenerative diseases, as it helps to reduce the risk of their onset and counteracts their progression. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms have not yet been fully elucidated. In this regard, neurotrophins, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), glia cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4), have been suggested as key mediators of brain health benefits, as they are involved in neurogenesis, neuronal survival, and synaptic plasticity. The production of these neurotrophic factors, known to be increased by physical exercise, is downregulated in neurodegenerative disorders, suggesting their fundamental importance in maintaining brain health. However, the mechanism by which physical exercise promotes the production of neurotrophins remains to be understood, posing limits on their use for the development of potential therapeutic strategies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. In this literature review, we analyzed the most recent evidence regarding the relationship between physical exercise, neurotrophins, and brain health, providing an overview of their involvement in the onset and progression of neurodegeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Neurodegenerative Disease 2.0)
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Other

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8 pages, 1640 KiB  
Case Report
Lower Limb Kinematic Coordination during the Running Motion of Stroke Patient: A Single Case Study
by Noboru Chiba and Tadayoshi Minamisawa
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2022, 7(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk7010006 - 06 Jan 2022
Viewed by 2025
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to clarify the lower limb joint motor coordination of para-athletes during running motion from frequency characteristics and to propose this as a method for evaluating their performance. The subject used was a 43-year-old male para-athlete who had [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to clarify the lower limb joint motor coordination of para-athletes during running motion from frequency characteristics and to propose this as a method for evaluating their performance. The subject used was a 43-year-old male para-athlete who had suffered a left cerebral infarction. Using a three-dimensional motion analysis system, the angles of the hip, knee, and ankle joints were measured during 1 min of running at a speed of 8 km/h on a treadmill. Nine inter- and intra-limb joint angle pairs were analyzed by coherence and phase analyses. The main characteristic of the stroke patient was that there were joint pairs with absent or increased coherence peaks in the high-frequency band above 4 Hz that were not found in healthy subjects. Interestingly, these features were also observed on the non-paralyzed side. Furthermore, a phase analysis showed different phase differences between the joint motions of the stroke patient and healthy subjects in some joint pairs. Thus, we concluded there was a widespread functional impairment of joint motion in the stroke patient that has not been revealed by conventional methods. The coherence analysis of joint motion may be useful for identifying joint motion problems in para-athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Neurodegenerative Disease 2.0)
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