A new neurological study indicates that regular physical exercise and participation in active sport changes the brain in ways that protect it against
Study conducted by the researchers at Karolinska Institute in Sweden pinpointed the benefits of physical activity on the brain. stress-induced depression.
The recent investigation reveals that exercise training acts such anti-depressants in the brain.
“Physical activity induces alteration in skeletal muscle that can remove the blood of a substance that accumulates during stress, and is harmful to the brain.”
A type of protein known as PGC-1a1 increases in skeletal muscle with exercise, and mediates the beneficial muscle conditioning in connection with exercise training.
The study researchers used a genetically modified mouse with high levels of PGC-1a1 in skeletal muscle that shows many characteristics of well-trained muscles, thereafter, this group along with normal control mice was exposed to a stressful environment.
After five weeks, the results uncovered that normal mice had developed depressive behavior, whereas no depressive symptoms had appeared in the genetically modified group.
“Our initial research hypothesis was that trained muscle would produce a substance with beneficial effects on the brain,” said the principal investigator at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institute, Jorge Ruas.
“We actually found the opposite: well-trained muscle produces an enzyme that purges the body of harmful substances. So in this context the muscle’s function is reminiscent of that of the kidney or the liver,” Ruas explained.
Depression is a common psychiatric disorder worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 350 million people are currently affected.
Scientists had earlier found that various forms of exercise training in twenties could preserve the brain and protect memory beyond middle age.