Exercise, New Brain Cells and Depression
by Larry W Nash
to the same degree. Individual differences in the quality of cognitive and brain
function in old age suggest that deterioration and decay neither burden everyone nor
need they be inevitable characteristics of ageing.
Because of this common finding and the increasing aging population in many
countries throughout the world, there is an increasing interest in assessing the
possibility that partaking in or changing certain lifestyles could prevent or reverse
cognitive and neural decay in older adults
It is actually possible to grow new brain cells, new blood supplies to feed them, and
reverse the damage that has been done. One hero in the piece is aerobic exercise.
The other is working memory training.
There has been much debate over the useful significance of growing new brain cells
(adult neurogenesis ), therefore an important goal has been to establish its effect in
living humans, away from the laboratory models and non human test subjects.
The initial studies of aerobics and its ability to produce new brain cells and new brain
blood supply to feed them, were done on mice. There, it was shown precisely where
in the brain the blood volume was influenced by aerobic exercise and whether that
was coupled with the resultant neurogenesis. Among all brain regions, exercise was
found to have a primary effect on an exotic location called the dentate gyrus, a
subregion of the hippocampus. This is the only subregion that supports the growth of
new brain cells in adults.
Moreover, exercise-induced increases in dentate gyrus blood volume correlated
exactly with postmortem measurements of the growth of new brain cells. So much
for the mice.
Next, using similar MRI technologies on human subjects, brain blood volume maps
were generated over time in the same hippocampal formation of exercising humans.
As in mice, exercise was found to have a primary effect on dentate gyrus blood
volume, and those changes were found to selectively correlate with cardiopulmonary
and cognitive function. Taken together, these findings show that there is a true
correlation between increased dentate gyrus blood volume and exercise-induced
neurogenesis and that exercise differentially targets the dentate gyrus, a region vitally
important for memory and implicated in cognitive aging. The bottom line is, you can
boost your brain while you train aerobically.
Otherwise, adults of any age frequently experience diminished deductive abilities
accompanied by a breakdown and lessening of brain tissue in a number of regions of
Research now shows that 6 months of moderate levels of aerobic activity are
sufficient to produce significant improvements in cognitive function with the most
dramatic effects occurring on measures of problem solving, focus, and working
memory. These improvements are accompanied by altered brain activity measures
and increases in brain tissue volume that translate into more efficient and effective
day to day sharpness.
As much as we avoid it, we all know that aerobic exercise simply makes us feel
good. But unfortunately, we do not all feel good all the time.
Every year, 18.8 million North Americans over the age of 18 are absorbed by a self
esteem destroying gloom which can not be willed away or ignored. Depression
affects all people regardless of age, geographic location, or social position.
Persistence of negative mood beyond the duration of the initial bad event or stress
can be defined as major depression.
Only in the last ten years has it been known that newborn neurons existed in the
adult brain. These newborn brain cells brain appear to be necessary for detecting
subtle environmental changes and coupling emotions to external context.
This pattern has generated the concept that impaired new brain cell growth is a cause
in depression and stimulation of newborn neurons is essential for effective
In addition to determining individual difference factors, recent work demonstrates
that cognitive and brain deterioration is not unalterable and that the older adult brain
retains some plasticity that can be taken advantage of in order to reverse
deterioration and decay that may already be manifest and to prevent it otherwise.
Correct online working memory training, when faithful to the research which
substantiates it, targets the very specific brain function which proves key to every
conscious mental process. Your working memory frames the action for you whether
you are reading, writing, speaking,listening, solving problems, playing an instrument,
or just plain thinking.
Your mind can grow sharper and stronger as your brain grows older and computer
based training programs are proving to be the way to make it happen.
Now is the time to build up your brain reserves. It is never too late to boost critical
intellectual capacities of working memory, focus, and attention.
So it is not a matter of "use it or lose it", it is train it and getmore of it.
You are not stuck with the brain you were born with. The Brain Magic website will set
out a graduated training approach designed to enhance neuroprotection as well as
About The Author
Dr. Lawrence Nash is a member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society and resides in
Langley British Columbia Canada.
Aerobic exercise, a distant and
distasteful memory in most circles in
North America, has once again reared
its ugly head. Do not get up your
hopes, I am not going to suggest
that after all, aerobic exercise is not
so good for us. In fact, strong new
science tells us that there are several
more good reasons to build aerobic
exercise into our life plan.
Brain deterioration and thinking
decline are considered common
characteristics of aging. However, it is
clear that not everyone goes down
this slippery slope at the same rate or
|Copyright © EveryNutrient.com
|These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The content on
this website is for educational purposes only. Please consult with your physician before using natural
remedies and before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise program.
Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil Reviews
Coconut Oil Research