How Exercise is Good for the Brain

July 11, 2012 by
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

By Samuel Sakhai

Exercise is not just important to keep the pounds off; it’s also good for the brain. This study suggests that small amounts of exercise in rodents can reverse illness-related memory problems. Researchers gave rats free access to a running wheel for six weeks. Afterwards, they tested the animals’ memories, and compared their blood and brains to those of rats who did not have access to a running wheel. They found that animals who exercised had a healthier immune system and higher levels of a protein involved in both brain cell growth and connections between brain cells. In line with these findings, animals who exercised also performed better on memory tasks. These results highlight the potent role that exercise plays in our health and cognition.

Reference: Barrientos, R.M, et. al. Little Exercise, Big Effects: Reversing Aging and Infection-Induced Memory Deficits, and Underlying Processes. The Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 31 (32), August 2011, 11578-11586.

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