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The beneficial effects of exercise training on memory formation are well documented. However, the memory enhancement profile following the time-course of exercise training remains unknown. In this investigation, changes in the spatial hippocampal memory following a time-course of swimming exercise training were examined. Young adult Wistar rats were tested for both short-term and long-term memories using the radial arm water maize (RAWM) paradigm following 0, 1, 7, 14, and 28 days of swimming exercise training (60 min per day, 5 days/week)s. The mean total errors on RAWM during the learning phase and memory testing remained the same (p > 0.5) after 1 day of swimming exercise. On the other hand, swimming exercise-induced significant enhancement to the learning phase and memory formation after 7 days of training (p < 0.01). Errors decreased (p < 0.0001) after 7 days of training and remained lower (p < 0.0001) than baseline without differences between 7, 14, and 28 days (p > 0.5). Similarly, short- and long-term memories improved after 7 days (p < 0.05) of training as compared to the baseline without differences between 7, 14, and 28 days (p > 0.05). The time course of improvement of learning and both short- and long-term memories after swimming exercise were evident after 7 days and plateaued thereafter. Results of the current study could form the base for future utilization of exercises to enhance cognitive function in healthy individuals. © 2021 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society.


Mahmoud A Alomari, Karem H Alzoubi, Omar F Khabour. Swimming exercise improves short- and long-term memories: Time-course changes. Physiological reports. 2021 Jun;9(11):e14851

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PMID: 34110704

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