Want a healthy brain? Scientists say, go for a run

(Medical Xpress)—Physical exercise is just as important as cognitive exercise when it comes to maintaining a healthy brain, according to a new University of Queensland study released today.

A study conducted by scientists in the Bartlett laboratory at UQ's Queensland Brain Institute found the mechanism by which exercise increases the number of stem cells that are actively generating new nerve cells in the brain and reverses the decline normally observed as animals age.

"We have found that Growth Hormone (GH) originally discovered as a potent stimulator of animal growth is increased in the brain of running animals and this stimulates the activation of new neural stem cells," says QBI scientist Dr Daniel Blackmore.

The study was carried out in older mice, which show the same cognitive decline as humans.

"In this model of ageing we found that the number of active dramatically declines with age, but exercise dramatically reversed this, increasing stem cell numbers," Professor Perry Bartlett, the Director of QBI, and team leader, said.

"If we blocked the action of GH in the brains of these running animals, however, no such increase occurred, indicating GH was the primary regulator of this process.

"We are currently determining whether this grow GH–dependent increase in stem cell activity is able to reverse the seen in old animals by increasing production of new ."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ageing Brains Show Great Promise for Rejuvenation

Jun 24, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- UQ neuroscientists have, for the first time, been able to demonstrate that moderate exercise significantly increases the number of neural stem cells in the ageing brain.

Recommended for you

How physicians are adapting to payment reform

5 hours ago

Private and public healthcare providers in the U.S. are increasingly turning to the "pay-for-performance" model, in which physicians and hospitals are paid if they meet healthcare quality and efficiency targets. ...

Patients at emergency departments regarded as 'symptoms'

6 hours ago

The healthcare work of providing care at Emergency departments is medicalized and result-driven. As a consequence of this, patients are regarded as "symptoms", and are shunted around the department as "production units". ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.