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Scientists discover a key reason why Running Boosts Mental Health


Published on: May 18, 2022,

Exercises are common to our life. They help to stay fresh and fit. Exercises increase level to chemicals in bell cell growth which releases “ feel good” hormone dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which is said to play a key role in movement, motivation and learning. Experts have understood that dopamine in the brain may protect nerve cells from damage.


Researchers at NYU Grossman school of medicine tested on mice and running on a wheel for 30 days had a 40% increase in dopamine compared to levels in  mice that did not exercise. There was too 60% increase in BDNF levels compared to non running counterparts.  BDNF is a member of the neurotrophin family of growth factors, which are related to the canonical nerve growth factor. It is a protein. Also after a week the dopamine release remained elevated. When BDNF levels were artificially reduced running did not lead to additional dopamine release. Thus it was proved BDNF plays a key role in long lasting changes that occur in the brain as a result of running.


For the investigation, researchers provided dozens of male mice with unlimited access to either a freely. It was thus concluded that exercises alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s diseases as well as depression. As physical activity helps we can explore it as a means of augmenting  or even replacing the use of dopamine enhancing drugs in these patients.




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