EFFECT OF AEROBIC EXERCISE ON SHORT-AND LONG-TERM MEMORY IN ADULT MALE WISTAR RATS
Objective: Memory is an essential function of cognition in humans, but an age- and disease-related deterioration of this function is common. The currently known treatments have high failure rates, and thus, the slowing down of memory degeneration at an early age is the preferred preventive approach. Exercise, specifically aerobic exercise, has been proven to enhance memory via various pathways, such as neurogenesis, angiogenesis, and growth factor expression. The aim of this study is to assess the effect of aerobic exercise on short-term and long-term memory function in rats.
Methods: Twenty-four male Wistar rats aged 7 mo were randomly distributed into four groups: Control, short-term memory (C-S); Control, long-term memory (C-L); Aerobic, short-term memory (A-S); and Aerobic, long-term memory (A-L). The aerobic groups received exercise treatment for 30 min each five times per week, at a treadmill speed of 20 m/min. The treatment duration was 8 w. Short-term memory was assessed using the forced alteration Y-maze test, and long-term memory was assessed using the object location task.
Results: The findings showed that rats placed under the aerobic exercise regimen had significantly better long-term memory function at the end of 8 w (p = 0.006), while no significant difference was observed in short-term memory function between the aerobic exercise group and the control group.
Conclusion: The present study shows that aerobic exercise is beneficial in improving long-term memory function in rats.
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