WXTK Better Health Report: Muscles Fuel Brain

Your leg muscles are the largest muscles in your body and a new study highlights just how important your leg muscles are.

It’s well known that people with neurological diseases like motor neuron disease or multiple sclerosis tend to decline rapidly when their movement becomes limited.

Researchers from Italy wanted to look into the idea that when people can’t do load bearing exercise, whether because of disease, or even astronauts on a long mission, they lose not only muscle mass, but undergo altered body chemistry that can negatively affect their nervous system.

Over a period of 28 days, researchers experimented with mice by restricting the use of their hind legs. Other than this, the animals behaved normally and did not show any stress.

However, when they examined the brains of the mice at the end of the trial, they looked at an area of the brain called the sub ventricular zone, where neural stem cells produce new neurons.

And they found that neural stem cells had decreased by 70 per cent compared to the control group of mice, which had no physical limitations.

They also found that both neurons and oligo-den-dro-cytes, which are cells that help support and insulate nerve cells, didn’t fully mature in the experimental group.

According to the researchers, using our legs in daily weight bearing activates like walking, running, sitting and lifting, sends signals to our brain that we NEED to make healthy neural cells. When the ability to use our leg muscles declines, it makes it hard for our body to produce those nerve cells.

So according to the researchers,  neurological health is not a one way street with brain telling the muscles what to do, use of our muscles affects the brain too.

This is Joan Trimble wishing you wellness. 

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