Good Workout Works Your Brain

Study finds exercise stimulates neuron growth

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WEDNESDAY, May 26, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Exercise can stimulate growth in injured neurons, claims a study in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This finding may provide scientists with a better understanding of synaptic plasticity, which refers to the ability of neurons to make or sever connections based on usage.

Researcher studied the growth of sensory neurons from rats that exercised on running wheels for three or seven days compared to rats that had no exercise. They found sensory neurons taken from rats that exercised grew longer neurites (a type of extension) than sensory neurons taken from sedentary rats.

The more time the rats spent on the running wheel, the longer their neurite length.

More information

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons has information about spinal cord injuries.

SOURCE: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, news release, May 24, 2004

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