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Promoting brain health through physical activity among adults exposed to early life adversity: Potential mechanisms and theoretical framework

Donofry, S.D., Stillman, C.M., Hanson, J.L., Sheridan, M., Sun, S., Loucks, E.B. and Erickson, K.I. (2021) Promoting brain health through physical activity among adults exposed to early life adversity: Potential mechanisms and theoretical framework. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 131 . pp. 688-703.

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Embargoed until April 2023.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.09.051
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Abstract

Adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect, and poverty, profoundly alter neurobehavioral development in a manner that negatively impacts health across the lifespan. Adults who have been exposed to such adversities exhibit premature and more severe age-related declines in brain health. Unfortunately, it remains unclear whether the negative effects of early life adversity (ELA) on brain health can be remediated through intervention in adulthood. Physical activity may represent a low-cost behavioral approach to address the long-term consequences of ELA on brain health. However, there has been limited research examining the impact of physical activity on brain health among adults with a history of ELA. Accordingly, the purpose of this review is to (1) review the influence of ELA on brain health in adulthood and (2) highlight evidence for the role of neurotrophic factors, hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary axis regulation, inflammatory processes, and epigenetic modifications in mediating the effects of both ELA and physical activity on brain health outcomes in adulthood. We then propose a theoretical framework to guide future research in this area.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/62416
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