The effect of aerobic exercise on cortical architecture in patients with chronic schizophrenia: a randomized controlled MRI study
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- Falkai, P., Malchow, B., Wobrock, T. et al. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci (2013) 263: 469. doi:10.1007/s00406-012-0383-y
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Via influencing brain plasticity, aerobic exercise could contribute to the treatment of schizophrenia patients. As previously shown, physical exercise increases hippocampus volume and improves short-term memory. We now investigated gray matter density and brain surface expansion in this sample using MRI-based cortical pattern matching methods. Comparing schizophrenia patients to healthy controls before and after 3 months of aerobic exercise training (cycling) plus patients playing table football yielded gray matter density increases in the right frontal and occipital cortex merely in healthy controls. However, respective exercise effects might be attenuated in chronic schizophrenia, which should be verified in a larger sample.