Scientists at the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging recently set out to examine whether changes in muscles prompted by exercise might subsequently affect and improve the brain’s ability to think. “We wondered whether peripheral triggers might be activating the cellular and molecular cascades in the brain that led to improvements in cognition,” says Henriette van Praag, the investigator at the National Institute on Aging who led the study.
Muscles are, of course, greatly influenced by exercise. Muscle cells respond to exercise by pumping out a variety of substances that result in larger, stronger muscles. Some of those compounds might be entering the bloodstream and traveling to the brain, Dr. van Praag says.
Erik says: A good night of dancing Hustle or upbeat West Coast Swing might constitute the type of exercise that helps promote brainpower.