Recently, a study on physical activity and brain health shows that exercise may change the brain of athletes in a surprising way – exercise causes the liver to excrete a little-known protein, and by increasing the level of this protein through chemical methods, the brain and memory of elderly animals will be revitalized. The finding raises a controversial question: will the brain benefits of exercise one day come in the form of capsules or syringes – similar to “exercise pills”.
There has been considerable evidence in the past that physical activity can protect the brain and mind from certain degenerations caused by aging. In rodent studies, mice moving on wheels or treadmills produced more new neurons and had better learning and memory abilities than sedentary mice. Similarly, the memory related parts of brain tissue increased in those who kept moving. Even among young people, those who are healthier than their peers tend to perform better on cognitive tests.
However, at the cellular level, there are still many unanswered questions about how exercise reshapes the brain and changes its function. Many researchers have suspected that this change is related to some substances released by the brain and body during and after exercise. These substances interact and trigger other biochemical reactions that ultimately change the appearance and way the brain works. But it’s not clear what these substances are, where they come from, how they meet and mix.