Sunday, February 21, 2016

Best Exercise for Brains

I’m brain-damaged. 

This will come to no surprise to many of you who read this blog. As a result of my initial surgery, follow-up surgeries and treatments, my brain performance was, well, worse than pre-brain tumor.

As a result, I’m continually looking for ways to improve my thought process, my brain power and my ability to cogitate (assuming these are all different things).

So, you shouldn’t be surprised that I am keenly interested in a recent article entitled “Which Type of Exercise Is Best for the Brain?” written by the wonderful Gretchen Reynolds:  

The article reprises research conducted by researchers at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland which studied the impact of different kinds of exercise on the brains of mice. Here’s what I believe to be the most revealing quote of the article:Those rats that had jogged on wheels showed robust levels of neurogenesis. Their hippocampal tissue teemed with new neurons, far more than in the brains of the sedentary animals. The greater the distance that a runner had covered during the experiment, the more new cells its brain now contained.

Reynolds goes on to write that “Obviously, rats are not people. But the implications of these findings are provocative. They suggest, said Miriam Nokia, a research fellow at the University of Jyvaskyla who led the study, that ‘sustained aerobic exercise might be most beneficial for brain health also in humans.’”

Before you start training for a marathon, however, I suggest that you read her entire article.

And here’s a link to the abstract in the “The Journal of Physiology” -

Copyright: <a href=''>jorgenmac / 123RF Stock Photo</a>


Anonymous said...

I noticed this article a few days ago as well, and found it similarly interesting. Among the widespread damage my tumor inflicted on the specific thing that is "me" was the loss of roughly 20 years of autobiographical memory. I feel like a stranger to myself, and as though I don't really belong here, or there, or anywhere.

And, of course, I significant ongoing memory issues. Though strangely, and perhaps thankfully, my ongoing memory problems do not manifest themselves so much in the performance of my work. This is in keeping with my ability to fully perform complex cognitive tasks in the performance of my work prior to my surgery even as everything else in my brain, body, relationships, and broader life was burning furiously to ash.

And I'm rambling ...

Needless to say, this article is fascinating to me, as is anything that holds out the reasonable hope for any kind of improvement in memory or other cognition.

It was particularly interesting to see discussion of pattern discernment and its potential influence on neurogenesis.

This article alone has convinced me to go ahead and purchase a treadmill, pending what I hope will be a clear MRI coming up in a few weeks. If it turns out that I have no issues on the treadmill after a month or so, I'll shift to jogging. I spent a great deal walking, running, and biking outdoors in open, in rough, and in wooded terrain as a child. Hopefully this will be something I can take to again.

Sorry I don't really have much to add, just wanted to share my enthusiasm for this piece. It's nice to find another voice out here dealing with a meningioma.

John's Brain said...

Thanks for your comment!

Alex Neil said...

I appreciate your information on the Brain tumour. I wrote about this, too, recently. More specifically about the causes and cure to Brain tumour.