Bergen Stress and Sleep Group, BSSG

Oda Bugge Kambestad

Master student

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Measuring BDNF-serum levels following one session of acute physical exercise in healthy elderly

Brain derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) are known to promote neural proliferation and survival in the hippocampus. Studies indicate that a specific genetic polymorphism will influence activity-dependent emissions of BDNF throughout the life span. Even though this carries important implications, there has been done very little research on humans regarding this polymorphism, especially in elderly populations. In my master thesis we look at serum levels of BDNF in a healthy elderly sample (60-75 years) before and after an acute aerobic exercise session. This will allow us to investigate whether the genetic polymorphism in any way influences BDNF emissions, and how this compares to younger samples from previous studies. As BDNF promotes neuroplasticity it will be very useful to know whether genetic variation can influence individual ability to produce this neurotrophic factor and whether it changes throughout the life span.

This master's project is a part of the project Physical exercise augmented cognitive behaviour therapy for older adults with generalised anxiety disorder (PEXACOG) at Solli DPS. 


Main supervisor Silje Haukenes Stavestrand  

Main supervisor Kristine Sirevåg 

Co-supervisor Jelena Mrdalj