Exercise is good for your brain

Interesting article from the MS Trust website – It is well-known that exercise is good for physical and mental health, but less well-known that exercising also protects and repairs the structures of the brain.  This review summarises animal and human studies which demonstrate how physical activity has a direct beneficial effect on brain structures and biological processes.

Animal studies have revealed that physical activity increases the production of new neurons, improves the wiring which connects different parts of the brain, reduces demyelination and promotes remyelination. Recent research in mice has also provided evidence that exercise may create an environment in the brain which is more favourable for the actions of the remyelinating drug clemastine. The authors propose the term “MedXercise” to describe the synergistic effect seen when physical activity is paired with medication.

Studies in people with MS have shown that exercise leads to improvements in the wiring within the brain, reduced brain volume loss, reduced lesion numbers, and reduced activity in brain areas which had been compensating for loss of function.

The reviewers conclude that data from animal models and from people with MS support the view that exercise improves brain and spinal cord structures and functions but acknowledge there is still much to learn.

Read the study in more detail here