Potential exerkines for physical exercise-elicited pro-cognitive effects: Insight from clinical and animal research

Thomas Ho Yin Lee, Douglas Affonso Formolo, Tammie Kong, Samantha Wing Yan Lau, Charlotte Sze Lok Ho, Rachel Yan Hei Leung, Felix Hin Yan Hung, Suk Yu Yau (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


A sedentary lifestyle is now known as a critical risk factor for accelerated aging-related neurodegenerative disorders. In contract, having regular physical exercise has opposite effects. Clinical findings have suggested that physical exercise can promote brain plasticity, particularly the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, that are important for learning and memory and mood regulations. However, the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Animal studies reveal that the effects of physical exercise on promoting neuroplasticity could be mediated by different exerkines derived from the peripheral system and the brain itself. This book chapter summarizes the recent evidence from clinical and pre-clinical studies showing the emerging mediators for exercise-promoted brain health, including myokines secreted from skeletal muscles, adipokines from adipose tissues, and other factors secreted from the bone and liver.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Review of Neurobiology
EditorsSuk-Yu Yau, Kwok-Fai So
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages35
ISBN (Print)9780128169674
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Publication series

NameInternational Review of Neurobiology
ISSN (Print)0074-7742
ISSN (Electronic)2162-5514


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Exerkines
  • Hippocampus
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Obesity
  • Physical exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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