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Research: How Exercise Benefits the Brain

How Exer­cise Ben­e­fits the Brain (NewYork Times):

To learn more about how exer­cise affects the brain, sci­en­tists in Ire­land recent­ly asked a group of seden­tary male col­lege stu­dents to take part in a mem­o­ry test fol­lowed by stren­u­ous exer­cise.

First, the young men watched a rapid-fire line­up of pho­tos with the faces and names of strangers. After a break, they tried to recall the names they had just seen as the pho­tos again zipped across a com­put­er screen. After­ward, half of the stu­dents rode a sta­tion­ary bicy­cle, at an increas­ing­ly stren­u­ous pace, until they were exhaust­ed. The oth­ers sat qui­et­ly for 30 min­utes. Then both groups took the brain-teas­er test again.

Notably, the exer­cised vol­un­teers per­formed sig­nif­i­cant­ly bet­ter on the mem­o­ry test than they had on their first try, while the vol­un­teers who had rest­ed did not improve.”

Link to Study: Aer­o­bic exer­cise improves hip­pocam­pal func­tion and increas­es BDNF in the serum of young adult males. (PubMed)

Abstract:

Phys­i­cal activ­i­ty has been report­ed to improve cog­ni­tive func­tion in humans and rodents, pos­si­bly via a brain-derived neu­rotroph­ic fac­tor (BDNF)-regulated mech­a­nism.

In this study of human sub­jects, we have assessed the effects of acute and chron­ic exer­cise on per­for­mance of a face-name match­ing task, which recruits the hip­pocam­pus and asso­ci­at­ed struc­tures of the medi­al tem­po­ral lobe, and the Stroop word-colour task, which does not, and have assessed cir­cu­lat­ing con­cen­tra­tions of BDNF and IGF‑1 in par­al­lel.

The results show that a short peri­od of high-inten­si­ty cycling results in enhance­ments in per­for­mance of the face-name match­ing, but not the Stroop, task. These changes in cog­ni­tive func­tion were par­al­leled by increased con­cen­tra­tion of BDNF, but not IGF‑1, in the serum of exer­cis­ing sub­jects. 3 weeks of cycling train­ing had no effect on car­dio­vas­cu­lar fit­ness, as assessed by VO2 scores, cog­ni­tive func­tion, or serum BDNF con­cen­tra­tion. Increas­es in fit­ness, cog­ni­tive func­tion and serum BDNF response to acute exer­cise were observed fol­low­ing 5 weeks of aer­o­bic train­ing.

These data indi­cate that both acute and chron­ic exer­cise improve medi­al tem­po­ral lobe func­tion con­comi­tant with increased con­cen­tra­tions of BDNF in the serum, sug­gest­ing a pos­si­ble func­tion­al role for this neu­rotroph­ic fac­tor in exer­cise-induced cog­ni­tive enhance­ment in humans.”

To learn more, click on Phys­i­cal Exer­cise and Brain Health

Source of pic: Big­Stock­Pho­to

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  1. Govin says:

    Which thing you want to refer gym or yoga? I think yoga is best way to keep your brain healthy.

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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