Projects & Grants

Internal Grant Competition DGC

Memory and physical activity in individuals from air-polluted and control region and the potential role of selected physiological correlates
Project IdSGS06/PdF/2020-2021
Main solverMgr. Veronika Vašendová
Periodr1/2020 - 12/2021
ProviderSpecifický VŠ výzkum
AnotationIt has long been known that regular physical activity have beneficial effect on physical and mental health. Physical activity is considered to be effective in preventing or delaying the onset of memory impairment. However, the exact mechanisms underlying the potential beneficial effects of physical activity on memory performance remains unclear (Ruscheweyh et al., 2011). One of the most recent theories, the stress hypothesis, suggests that positive effect of physical activity could be mediated by changes in cortisol secretion pattern. Chronic secretion of high levels of cortisol can have neurotoxic effects on the hippocampus, resulting in atrophy of the structure and linked to impaired memory (Lupien, Maheu, Tu, Fiocco a Schramek, 2007). The results of previous studies suggest that individuals maintaining an active lifestyle can be protected from these negative effects by regular physical activity, which can statistically significantly reduce cortisol levels (Friedenreich et al., 2019). Another physiological mechanism explaining the supposed relationship between physical activity and memory is its ability to regulate the autonomic nervous system (Forte, Favieri, & Casagrande, 2019). However, physical activity performed outdoors in areas with polluted air can cause a high level of inhalation of pollutants. Inhalation of these pollutants is responsible for several adverse health effects (Pasqua, L.A. et al., 2018), including possible memory impairment in children and adults (Clifford, A. et al., 2016). Aim of the presented project is to examine the relationship between the level of physical activity and memory in individuals from air polluted and control region and investigate whether the potential relationship can be partially explained by selected physiological mechanisms, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the autonomic nervous system, that are expected to be closely related to physical activity and air quality.