The role of exercise in brain DNA damage

Thais Vilela, Vanessa De Andrade, Zsolt Radak, Ricardo De Pinho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Cells are constantly subjected to cytotoxic and genotoxic insults resulting in the accumulation of unrepaired damaged DNA, which leads to neuronal death. In this way, DNA damage has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurological disorders, cancer, and aging. Lifestyle factors, such as physical exercise, are neuroprotective and increase brain function by improving cognition, learning, and memory, in addition to regulating the cellular redox milieu. Several mechanisms are associated with the effects of exercise in the brain, such as reduced production of oxidants, up-regulation of antioxidant capacity, and a consequent decrease in nuclear DNA damage. Furthermore, physical exercise is a potential strategy for further DNA damage repair. However, the neuroplasticity molecules that respond to different aspects of physical exercise remain unknown. In this review, we discuss the influence of exercise on DNA damage and adjacent mechanisms in the brain. We discuss the results of several studies that focus on the effects of physical exercise on brain DNA damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1981-1985
Number of pages5
JournalNeural Regeneration Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 1
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA damage
  • DNA repair
  • aerobic exercise
  • apoptosis
  • brain
  • brain-derived neurotrophic factor
  • neurodegenerative disease
  • oxidative stress
  • physical exercise
  • strength exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of exercise in brain DNA damage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this