Tags: blood pressure | exercise | brain health

Inactivity Alters the Brain

Friday, 06 March 2015 03:27 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Scientific evidence has shown that physical exercise is good for both brain and body health. We know that aerobic exercise increases the efficiency of the heart, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to circulate throughout the body.

By contrast, physical inactivity increases risk for heart disease, although the mechanism for this effect is not entirely clear.

A study published in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Comparative Neurology provides a possible explanation. Scientists at Wayne State University School of Medicine looked inside the brains of two groups of lab rats.

One group engaged in their usual activities of running on their running wheels approximately three miles each day, while the second group was sedentary and had no running wheels.

After three months, the scientists performed a detailed brain analysis and found that the active rats had no change in neurons in a brain region called the rostral ventrolateral medulla, which controls critical functions like breathing and blood pressure from moment to moment.

The same brain region in the sedentary animals looked very different. The cells showed extensive growth in the branches that reach to other cells.

Neurons with more branches are more sensitive and reactive, which can lead to increases in blood pressure and heart disease.

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Scientific evidence has shown that physical exercise is good for both brain and body health.
blood pressure, exercise, brain health
Friday, 06 March 2015 03:27 PM
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