Background: Decline in processing speed, memory, and executive function is a relatively widespread characteristic of aging. Human and animal studies demonstrate that exercise is a
powerful behavioral intervention to improve cognitive function and brain health. Studies in aged humans have demonstrated that high levels of physical activity are associated with improved cognitive
scores, as well as with reduced incidence of dementia. From an experimental perspective, rodent studies demonstrate that exercise leads to improvements in hippocampal-dependents task. However, there
is no reliable information from literature about the impact of physical exercise throughout adult life.
Aim: To analyze the long-term memory of rats submitted to physical exercise throughout adult life.
Methods: Fifteen rats, two months old, were divided into control (CTL; n=9) and exercise (EX; n=6) groups. Rats from exercise group were submitted to physical exercise on a treadmill
(AVS Projetos) during 18 months, 5 times/week, for 30 minutes, with intensity varying between 12 and 18m/min. After 18 months, rats from CTL and EX groups were weighed and submitted to inhibitory
Results: Animals from EX group presented increased body weight when compared to CTL group (p=0, 04). In the inhibitory avoidance task, rats from both groups presented similar latency
of crossing (p=0, 13). In the test session, rats from the EX group presented significantly high latency for crossing when compared to CTL group (p=0,016).
Conclusions: Rats that performed physical exercise throughout adult life presented increase in body weight and improvement in the long-term memory.