#Running & regular exercise in #midlife reduces risks of cognitive decline; Running & exercise has shown a positive correlation in hippocampal dependent cognitive performance. #Neurogenesis #CognitiveFunction
By: Lisa Lukianoff, Psy.D.
Running and exercise are shown to boost neurogenesis, new cell growth, in adult’s hippocampus region, a region in the brain that promotes regulation of emotion, memory function, and the autonomic nervous system. Researchers Yau, Gil-Mohapel, Christie, & So (2014) examine this process as a potential preventative strategy and treatment to reduce cognitive decline.
The structural plasticity of the hippocampal region is altered by neurodegenerative diseases, thus causing cognitive impairment. Exercise and the process of neurogenesis in this region improve cognitive functions. “…hippocampal neuronal circuits known to be involved in spatial learning and possess particular physiological properties that make them more susceptible to behavioral-dependent synaptic plasticity…it is reasonable to speculate that these new neurons might be integral for hippocampal-dependent learning…”, (Yau, Gil-Mohapel, Christie, & So, 2014).
Running and exercise have shown a positive correlation between hippocampal-dependent cognitive performance and change in the cerebral blood volume. The results of this research indicate that adults produce new neurons, neurogenesis, in the hippocampus region and this play a vital role in cognitive function, learning, and memory.
“…a meta-analysis study has shown that 1 to 12 months of exercise in healthy adults brings behavioral benefits…significant increases in memory, attention, processing speed, and executive function…regular engagement in physical exercise in midlife is associated with reduced risks of developing dementia later on in life…physical exercise might indeed have preventative effects with regard to the development of age-related cognitive decline”, (Yau, Gil-Mohapel, Christie, & So, 2014).
Providing a person with a therapeutic prescription of running and/or exercise can be scientifically valid and clinically relevant for working towards restoring and improving the endogenous neurogenic capacity of an individual.
Yau, S. Y., Gil-Mohapel, J., Christie, B. R., & So, K. F. (2014). Physical Exercise-Induced Adult Neurogenesis: A Good Strategy to Prevent Cognitive Decline in Neurodegenerative Diseases?. BioMed research international. Volume 403120; pp. 1-20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/403120
This blog is intended to explore ideas, educate, entertain and expand our thinking. Some posts speak to current trends in the brain sciences, neural benefits of exercise & sports, emotional intelligence and personal growth.