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BDNF is a protein encoded by the BDNF gene and is a member of the neurotrophin family of growth factors. BDNF acts on neurons in the CNS and PNS, supporting the survival of existing neurons and encouraging the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses. In the brain it is active in the hippocampus, cortex and basal forebrain - areas vital to learning, memory, and higher thinking. BDNF is also important for long-term memory, by activation of NMDA receptors that are involved in the formation of new memories.
Research shows that consistent aerobic exercise results in up to threefold increases the production of neurotrophic factors, including BDNF and NGF, which induce persistent improvements in certain cognitive functions and beneficial forms of neuroplasticity, including increased neuron growth, increased neurological activity, improved stress coping, improved memory and improvements in brain structures and pathways associated with cognitive control and memory.
Consistent aerobic exercise for a period of several months induces clinically significant improvements in executive functions and increased gray matter volume in multiple brain regions, in particular the prefrontal cortex, caudate nucleus and hippocampus. The prefrontal cortex, caudate nucleus and anterior cingulate cortex are amongst the most significant brain structures in the Dopamine and Norepinephrine systems that give rise to cognitive control.
Key supplements to boost BDNF: Ashwagandha, L-Theanine, Noopept (N-Phenylacetyl L-Prolylglycine Ethyl Ester) and Zinc Picolinate.
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