In experiments in mice, exercise appears to reverse the decline in the production of brain stem cells usually seen with aging, Taiwanese researchers report.
This remarkable restoration of the brain's ability to stave off aging appears to be due to exercise's ability to restore a neurochemical that is essential for the production of new brain cells.
"As we age, the ability of producing new neurons is decreasing. However, moderate running can improve the production, survival and maturation of new neurons in the brain," said lead researcher Yu-Min Kuo, an associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy at the National Cheng Kung University Medical College in Tainan. "The younger one starts to run, the better."
The report is published in the November issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology.