Exercise and Brain Plasticity

A review out of the University of Queensland's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences has revealed the impact of exercise on a protein involved in brain re-organisation following a neurological injury, such as stroke.

The protein is called Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and it plays an important role in brain development and plasticity. 

PhD candidate Christopher Mackay said the review discovered that exercise could positively affect BDNF in people with brain conditions.

'Increasing BDNF may contribute to the ability of brain cells to grow, change and rejuvenate, and a program of aerobic exercise may increase levels of BDNF in people with a neurological disorder,' Mr Mackay said.

'Including regular aerobic exercise as a component of rehabilitation may show improvements in walking, functional ability, and improved motor performance.' (1) 

(1) Neural Plasticity Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4716197, 9 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/4716197 'The Effect of Aerobic Exercise on Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in People with Neurological Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis’ Christopher P. MackaySuzanne S. Kuys, and Sandra G. Brauer



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