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September 21, 2022 at 8:31 pm #28235Heather Hamilton PhDKeymaster
3.15 Muscle Movement Matters to Metabolic Recovery & T2 Diabetes Prevention
We don’t often think of all the interconnectivity between our brain and body but the truth is, our brains and muscles are in constant conversation with each other, sending electrochemical signals back and forth. In fact, to sustain brain health we have to keep our muscles moving. Skeletal muscle is the type of muscle that allows you to move your body around; it is one of the biggest organs in the human body. It is also an endocrine tissue, which means it releases signaling molecules that travel to other parts of your body to tell them to do things. The protein molecules that transmit messages from the skeletal muscle to other tissues—including the brain—are called myokines .
Myokines are released into the bloodstream when your muscles contract, create new cells, or perform other metabolic activities. When they arrive at the brain, they regulate physiological and metabolic responses there, too. As a result, myokines have the ability to affect cognition, mood, and emotional behavior. Exercise stimulates what scientists call muscle-brain “cross talk,” and these myokine messengers help determine specific beneficial responses in the brain. These can include the formation of new neurons and increased synaptic plasticity, both of which boost learning and memory. In these ways, strong muscles are essential to healthy brain function .
Even moderate exercise can increase metabolism in brain regions important for learning and memory in older adults. And the brain itself has been found to respond to exercise in strikingly physical ways. The hippocampus, a brain structure that plays a major role in learning and memory, shrinks in late adulthood; this can result in an increased risk for dementia. Exercise has been shown to increase the size of the hippocampus, even late in life, protecting against age-related loss and improving spatial memory. Loss of skeletal muscle mass and function leaves the brain more vulnerable to dysfunction and disease; as a counter to that, exercise improves memory, processing speed, and executive function, especially in older adults
.Tsui, B. (2022) How do strong muscles keep your brain healthy?
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