Study reveals new proof of physical activity’s impact on brain health

Brain health and exercise

Mood improvements, more energy and better weight control are just three possible benefits of regular physical activity, according to the Mayo Clinic. Past studies have also identified a link between exercise and cognitive improvements. New research from Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has revealed even more evidence to back up this claim.

In a study, the results of which appear in the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers found that endurance exercise elevated FNDC5, a molecule, and irisin, its cleavage product, in mice brains. Irisin is important, as it has the power to activate genes that play a role in cognition. The end result is improved brain health.

"Our results indicate that FNDC5/irisin has the ability control a very important neuroprotective pathway in the brain," said Dr. Bruce Spiegelman, who led the researchers.

Of course, exercise does not benefit mice alone. If individuals work out on a regular basis, they may want to take an IQ test. Whether they run or lift weights, their hard work may have had a positive effect on their cognitive abilities.

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