Acute Effects of Mental Activity on Response of Serum BDNF and IGF-1 Levels in Elite and Novice Chess Players

Hamid Arazi, Hanieh Aliakbari, Abbas Asadi, Katsuhiko Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Although the effects of physical exercise on brain functions are well studied, the influence of mental activity is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of a session of mental activity on brain neurobiological factors in chess players. Materials and Methods: Ten elite and novice chess players were recruited to participate in this study as volunteers. The subjects performed a session of standard chess matches as a mental activity. Before and after each chess match, blood samples were drawn to analyze changes in serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Results: After each chess match, both the elite and novice groups showed significant increases in serum BDNF and IGF-1 concentrations. The elite group also showed significantly greater changes in BDNF and IGF-1 levels (p ≤ 0.05) than the novice group. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that a session of standard chess matches as a mental activity is effective for elevating BDNF and IGF-1 levels, and that their elevation in elite players seems to be more pronounced than those in novice players.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedicina (Kaunas, Lithuania)
Volume55
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 22

Keywords

  • brain
  • mental activity
  • neurotrophic factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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