Have brain fatigue? Arnold School study finds regular exercise may be the cure
The results of the study appear in the Articles in Press section of the Journal of Applied Physiology, both of which are published by the American Physiological Society.
“These findings suggest that exercise training increases the amount of mitochondria in the brain, much like it increases mitochondria in muscles,” said Davis, director of the exercise biochemistry laboratory at the Arnold School.
The increase in brain mitochondria not only may boost exercise endurance by making the brain more resistant to fatigue, but it also may have implications for the treatment of mental disorders, making exercise a potential treatment for psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, Davis said.
“These findings could lead to the enhancement of athletic performance through reduced mental and physical fatigue, as well as to the expanded use of exercise as a therapeutic option to attenuate the negative effects of aging, and the treatment and/or prevention of neurological diseases,” Davis said.
The study team included Jennifer L. Steiner and Jamie L. McClellan, doctoral students in the Arnold School of Public Health; Dr. E. Angela Murphy, assistant professor at the USC School of Medicine; and Dr. Martin D. Carmichael, a post-doctoral fellow in the Arnold School.
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