Effects of aerobic exercise training and cranial electrotherapy stimulation on the stress-related hormone, the neurotrophic factor, and mood states in obese middle-aged women: a pilot clinical trial

Su-Youn Cho, Wi-Young So, Hee-Tae Roh

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17711/SM.0185-3325.2016.029

Abstract


 

Introduction. Obesity, a global pandemic, has been reported as a potential cause of various diseases, including high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Objective. The purpose of the present research was to investigate the effects of eight weeks of regular aerobic exercise and cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) on the stress-related hormone, the neurotrophic factor, and mood states in obese women.

Method. The subjects for this study were 36 obese middle-aged Korean women. Subjects were randomly divided into a control group (CON, n = 12), an aerobic exercise group (EX, n = 12), and an aerobic exercise and CES group (EX + CES, n = 12). CES was conducted with a micro current cranial electrotherapy stimulator for 20 minutes at 100 μA and 0.5 Hz. Aerobic exercise consisted of treadmill running for 40 minutes at 70% of the subjects’ heart rate reserve (HRR). Mood state was measured by the profile of mood states (POMS) questionnaire, and blood collection was performed to examine levels of stress-related hormones (cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone [ACTH]) and neurotrophic factors (brain-derived neurotrophic factor [BDNF] and nerve growth factor [NGF]) before and after each intervention.

Results. Plasma cortisol levels, as well as scores for Tension-Anxiety, Depression-Dejection, and Fatigue-Inertia were significantly decreased after intervention when compared with pre-intervention measurements in the EX and EX+CES groups (p < .05). Serum BDNF levels, serum NGF levels, and Vigor-Activity scores were significantly increased after intervention when compared with pre-intervention measurements in the EX and EX+CES groups (p < .05). However, there was no significant difference in these findings between the EX and EX+CES groups (p > .05).

Discussion and conclusion. These results suggest that aerobic exercise training could improve the mood state of obese middle-aged women through a decrease in serum cortisol and an increase in serum BDNF and NGF.


Keywords


Aerobic exercise; cranial electrotherapy stimulation; mood; obesity

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