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Keywords:

  • cognitive impairment;
  • exercise;
  • glucose supplement;
  • schizophrenia

Abstract

Aims

Metabolic dysregulation may disrupt the complex neuroprotective mechanisms essential for brain health. Recent studies have pointed out the possible aetiological role of metabolic dysregulation in the onset of schizophrenia and the associated cognitive impairment. In this paper, we aimed to generate a theoretical model of how a combination of physical exercise and dietary glucose supplement may help to alleviate cognitive impairment in schizophrenia.

Methods

Literature on metabolic dysregulation, especially insulin resistance, in relation to the onset of schizophrenia and the associated cognitive impairment is reviewed. The cognitive enhancement effects of physical exercise and dietary glucose supplement are then summarised. Finally, we propose a theoretical model based on the concerted effects of physical exercise and glucose supplement.

Results

In general, the joint action of physical exercise and dietary glucose supplement could up-regulate glucose and insulin transport into the brain, as well as augmenting the release of insulin growth factor-1 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Physical exercise and glucose supplement could enhance energy supply and neuroplasticity in brain, subsequently leading to potential cognitive enhancement in schizophrenia. However, glucose supplement is not suitable for patients with abnormal metabolic profile.

Conclusions

The combination of physical exercise and glucose supplement has potential therapeutic values in treating cognitive impairment in schizophrenia. Further research is necessary to investigate the optimal patterns of exercise and doses of glucose for treating cognitive impairment in schizophrenia.