Can the brain benefits of exercise be enhanced without additional exercise?
Leasure, J. Leigh
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Exercise is increasingly becoming accepted as "medicine" for diseases of both brain and body. For the brain, exercise offers chemical, cellular and structural benefits, including enhanced generation of new neurons, glia and blood vessels, increased expression of neurotrophins (such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), dendritic remodeling and stabilization of stress responses and inflammatory signaling. These mechanisms of action directly counteract those present in disease states. For example, the depressed brain is characterized by decreased synaptic plasticity, hippocampal neurogenesis and BDNF, all of which can be reversed by exercise.