Researchers Identify Mechanisms Behind Exercise That Protect The Brain

It's no news that exercise is good for the body and mind. However, until recently, the medical community was unsure of just how physical activity protects the mind from cognitive decline.

A team of researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reported that exercise stimulates the production of chemicals in the brain that help stave off damage and poor cognition.

"Exercise allows the brain to rapidly produce chemicals that prevent damaging inflammation," said lead author Jean Harry. "This could help us develop a therapeutic approach for early intervention in preventing damage to the brain."

In a lab study, the scientists observed that rodents that exercised produced an immune chemical known as interleukin-6 in the brain. This helped protect their cognitive abilities even when exposed to a chemical meant to inhibit their learning and memory capabilities.

Authors of the study noted that their findings may lead to a therapeutic intervention to prevent Alzheimer's disease or cognitive decline. However, they said the challenge may lie in getting individuals to voluntarily exercise before disease sets in.

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Easy Health Options Staff

By Easy Health Options Staff

Submitted by the staff at Easy Health Options®.