The purpose of this study was to systematically review to find if aerobic exercise compared to no exercise or any other intervention affects brain plasticity among people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Searches were conducted in the Scopus, SciELO, PubMed, Web of Science, Science Direct, and Google Scholar databases. The included studies were randomized control trials (RCTs) written in English comprising individuals with MCI that evaluated the effects of aerobic training on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), brain structures, or brain activity. The quality of trials was evaluated using the PEDro scale for RCTs. Twelve studies with medium to high quality were included, of which five studies focused on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (four articles reported elevation and one article reported no changes in BDNF levels following the aerobic exercise), two studies focused on brain structures (both reported increases in hippocampus volume following the aerobic exercise), and five studies focused on brain activity (four articles reported positive changes, and one article reported no changes in brain activity following the aerobic exercise). Research regarding the effects of aerobic training on brain plasticity in people with MCI is in its infancy. Still, aerobic exercise seems to be a promising therapy in people with MCI.
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