Bancroft Exercise Effects on the Brain

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Bancroft Exercise Effects on the Brain

  1. 1. Exercise and the BrainKaren Lindgren, Ph.D.
  2. 2. Our MissionTo ensure that every person is given opportunities for lifelong learningand fulfillment.We do this by altering perceptions, and by supporting those withintellectual and developmental challenges and acquired brain injuries inachieving their life goals as valued and respected members of our world. Our Core ValuesResponsible Empathetic Supportive Passionate Empowered Committed Trustworthy RESPECT Our VisionBy 2014 our distinct ability to deliver high quality individualized services inmodern living, learning and working environments will exceed stakeholderexpectations and secure Bancroft as the region’s elite provider of services topeople with intellectual and developmental disabilities and brain injuries.2
  3. 3. Strength of mind is exercise, not rest -Alexander PopeIt is exercise alone that supports thespirits, and keeps the mind in vigor - Marcus Tullius Cicero3
  4. 4. Goals• How does exercise benefit general health?• How does exercise benefit neurological health?• What are specific cognitive benefits of exercise?• What is neuroplasticity?• How does exercise benefit neuroplasticity? 4
  5. 5. Format• GEOGRAPHY OF THE BRAIN• WHAT IS NEUROPLASTICITY• EXERCISE o What it is o Physiology• EXERCISE AND THE BRAIN o Simple connections o Complex connections 5
  6. 6. The link should be clear• Our brain is a physical organ• Our brain is a thinking organ 6
  7. 7. The link should be clearExercise helps us physically• strengthens: hearts, bones, lungs, blood vessels• physical changes should be related to thinking changesLike our other organs, our brain is a constantlychanging organ 7
  8. 8. The brain: physical organGeography of the brain• Brain basics• Neurons• Blood vessels• Neurotransmitters 8
  9. 9. The brain: a thinking organWhat is thinking?• Cognition refers to any mental process 9
  10. 10. What is cognition?Areas of cognition include:• Attention• Concentration• Sensory skills• Motor skills 10
  11. 11. What is cognition?Areas of cognition include:• Language• Visual Skills• Memory• Problem solving/judgment moral reasoning 11
  12. 12. Brain Geography 12
  13. 13. NeuroplasticityWhat is neuroplasticity?• Refers to the ability of the brain to shape itself according to experience• Refers to physical change on a neuronal level 13
  14. 14. NeuroplasticityWhat changes when we learn?• Neurons connect with other neurons• Synapses strength changes with learning• More synapses form between neurons 14
  15. 15. What is exercise?Types• Cardiovascular• Weight training (resistance training)Intensity• Active lifestyle• Light• Vigorous 15
  16. 16. What happens when we exercise?Heart rate increasesHormones respond• Pituitary gland releases human growth hormone to increase production of bone, muscle, or connective tissue cells.Pituitary gland regulates• Thyroid• Adrenal 16
  17. 17. Pituitary Gland• Located in brain, limbic system• Influences: o Thyroid: neck o Adrenal: kidneys 17
  18. 18. 18
  19. 19. What happens when we exercise?Hormones respond• Pituitary gland regulates thyroid glandThyroid: releases hormones• Increase heart rate and blood pressure• Regulate body temperature• Elevate “alertness” in brain to increase concentration and reaction time 19
  20. 20. What happens when we exercise?Hormones respond• Pituitary gland regulates o Adrenal glands: In response to the ACTH (adrenocorticotropin) from the pituitary, release o 1. cortisol: causes blood pressure to rise, triggers increase in glucose, acts as anti-inflammatory agent (repairs tissues) Curbs non-critical functions (e.g., thirst, urine, hunger). Effects immune system. 20
  21. 21. What happens when we exercise?Hormones respond• Pituitary gland regulates o Adrenal glands: In response to the ACTH (adrenocorticotropin) from the pituitary, release o 2. aldosterone: bodily response to anticipate dehydration through impact on kidney function. 21
  22. 22. What happens when we exercise?Hormones respond• Pituitary gland regulates o Adrenal glands: In response to the ACTH (adrenocorticotropin) from the pituitary, release o 3. adrenaline (fight or flight) mechanism. A stimulant, increases strength and frequency of heart contractions. Speeds breakdown of stored carbs into glucose for muscle energy. 22
  23. 23. Section Break• GEOGRAPHY OF THE BRAIN• WHAT IS NEUROPLASTICITY• EXERCISE o What it is o Physiology• EXERCISE AND THE BRAIN o Simple connections o Complex connections 23
  24. 24. Exercise and the Brain:How do we know they are linkedStudies vary greatly (meta-analysis,Kramer et al)• Ages vary• Length of time looked at varies• Exercise type varies• Method of reporting varies (often self-report)• Method of reporting cognitive skill varies (e.g., MMSE screen, neuropsych, presence of dementia) 24
  25. 25. What is the link?Simple links• Increased blood flow to the brain is good for us• Simple mind/body benefits: mindfulness training, yogaComplex links• Neuroplasticity• Preventing problems• Improved mood--- improved thinking 25
  26. 26. Simple connections• Exercise improves blood flow to the brain• Is increased blood flow related to improved cognition? 26
  27. 27. Simple connectionsPhysical effects of exercise• Increased blood flow to the brain o Blood volume increases o Blood flow is more “predictable” o Small vessels grow – increase in number• Study of 16 women aged 60 and older, walking briskly 3-4 times per week, improved blood flow up to 15 % 27
  28. 28. Simple connectionsPhysical effects of exercise• Brings O2, glucose, nutrients to brain cells, vital for cell health• Cell growth: supports new connections, particularly in hippocampus- memory• Blood washes away “metabolic wastes” such as “amyloid beta protein” (implicated in development of Alzheimers) 28
  29. 29. Simple connectionsWalking:• Increases blood circulation• Increased oxygen and glucose to the brain• Not strenuous- muscles do not use extra oxygen and glucose as in more strenuous exercise In sum, you oxygenate your brain “Clear your head” 29
  30. 30. Complex LinksComplex links• Prevents primary neurologic disease• Promotes healthy normal aging• Neuroplasticity• Improved mood--- improved thinking 30
  31. 31. Exercise prevents primaryneurologic diseasePrimary Neurologic Disease• Vascular disease o Cholesterol lowering effects of exercise o Exercise lowers blood pressure:  High blood pressure is related to stroke and mild cognitive impairment o Increased blood flow o Increased vessels 31
  32. 32. Exercise promotes healthy agingNormal Aging• Ameliorates decline: Canadian researchers1 examined active lifestyle for “elderly” individuals over 2-5 years, showed stability in cognitive functioning for individuals who were active, greater change if sedentary.• 90% of individuals with greatest daily energy scored consistently on tests each year• Activities included walking, cooking, cleaning1. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2011 32
  33. 33. Exercise promotes healthy agingNormal Aging• More specifically, women in 70’s with vascular disease showed a slower rate of cognitive decline than the active group. Editorial (Dr. Eric Larson) noted the goal was to slow the onset of dementia. 33
  34. 34. Exercise promotes healthy agingNormal Aging• A second study2 showed that light duty weight training has neurological effects.• After one year, older women who lifted 2x per week showed changes on both functional MRIs and cognitive tests.2. Neurobiology of Aging, 2011 34
  35. 35. Exercise promotes healthy agingNormal Aging: start early!• Mayo clinic study of 1,126 individuals with “normal cognition” (as opposed to Mild cognitive impairment)3• Individuals with Moderate exercise during midlife were less likely to develop impairment in later life3. Archives of Neurology, 2011 35
  36. 36. Exercise promotes healthy aging• Exercise prevents onset of dementia• Meta analysis of 1600 research papers examining role of exercise in perserving cognitive abilities• Conclusion: Important therapy against dementia 36
  37. 37. Exercise promotes healthy aging“…you can make a very compelling argument forexercise as a disease-modifying strategy to preventdementia and mild cognitive impairment, and forfavorably modifying these processes once theyhave developed.” -- J. Eric Ahlskog, M.D., Ph.D., neurologist, Mayo Clinic 37
  38. 38. Exercise promotes healthy agingOther Neurologic Disease• Parkinson’s Disease o Researchers4 followed 140,000 people with avg. age of 63 for 10 years. o Moderate to vigorous activity levels were related to a 40% less chance to develop Parkinsons than those with light or no activity levels. o Not clear if the relationship is focused on short term or long term (i.e., do you need to start exercising at 40?)4. American Academy of Neurology, 2007 38
  39. 39. Exercise promotes healthy agingOther Neurologic Disease• Mild cognitive impairment (MCI): each year, 10-15% of individuals with mild cognitive impairment will develop dementia5.• Study: 33 adults with MCI. 23 assigned randomly to aerobic group and exercised at high intensity levels for 45-60 minutes per day, 4 days per week, with a trainer. Control group: 10 individuals performed supervised stretching with low heart rate.5. Archives of Neurology, 2011 39
  40. 40. Exercise promotes healthy agingOther Neurologic Disease• Found improved fitness (body fat analysis, metabolic markers) and improved cognition.• Cognitive improvements were more marked in women than men. This may be related to body’s use of insulin, glucose, and cortisol, which differed between the sexes. 40
  41. 41. Exercise and Stress• Chronic cortisol release leads to detrimental effects: o Chronically high cortisol reduces dopamine• Exercise initially mimics this effect• Regular exercise training helps to reduce cortisol levels (e.g., a 20 minute walk ceases to be “stressful” to the body). 41
  42. 42. Mood BenefitsExercise improves stress tolerance:• Exercise causes a drop in stress hormones• Improves “resilience” to stress• Brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) o “fertilizer” of the brain’s neurons o Grow more quickly, develop stronger connections o Associated with improved cognition, mood 42
  43. 43. Mood BenefitsExercise improves stress tolerance:• Rats assigned to 4 groups6: o Engaged in “voluntary running” o Given antidepressants o Both o Neither• Rats then underwent a 2-day “forced swimming” procedure6. California State University, 2001 43
  44. 44. Mood BenefitsExercise improves stress tolerance:• Results: o BDNF levels in untreated animals were depressed o Animals that were given physical training or antidepressants had BDNF restored to baseline o Animals with both showed increase in hippocampal BDNF well above baseline. 44
  45. 45. Mood BenefitsImproved mood improves cognition:• Exercise has an “antidepressant effect”• Antidepressant effect of running was associate with more cell growth in hippocampus99. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, 2010 45
  46. 46. Does exercise fosterneuroplasticity?• Exercise increased growth factors in brain making it easier to grow new connections10• Mice that ran on a wheel had twice as many new brain cells as mice housed in standard cages11. As a comparison, provided mice with other “enriched” environments (e.g., “free swim”)- only running produced the effect. o Growth was in the hippocampus (learning and memory)10. UCLA, 201111. Nature Neuroscience, 1999 46
  47. 47. Does exercise fosterneuroplasticity?• Illinois researchers scanned brains of 55 individuals aged 55-79, measured maximal O2 during exercise12• Used MRIs and functional imaging to examine age- related brain shrinkage• Results: fit subjects had less shrinkage in temporal, parietal, and frontal areas- crucial for learning and memory12. Journal of Gerontology, 2003 47
  48. 48. Does exercise fosterneuroplasticity?• Meta-analysis of 18 controlled studies of cognitive function and aerobic fitness for individuals aged 55-801313. Psychological Sciences, 2003 48
  49. 49. Does exercise fosterneuroplasticity?Results:• Exercise had clear, selective cognitive benefits for attention, organization, planning• Frontal skills• Strength training combined with aerobic fitness was most effective• Exercise sessions of less than 30 minutes per session had little impact 49
  50. 50. Does exercise fosterneuroplasticity?• Brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF)• “fertilizer” of the brain’s neurons o Grow more quickly, develop stronger connections• Associated with improved cognition, mood 50
  51. 51. Does exercise fosterneuroplasticity?• Brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF)• produced in the brain during endurance training• produced peripherally in resistance training, circulates to the brain• University of Florida study: 20 college aged men14 o Increased neurotrophic factors at 1, 30 and 60 minutes after endurance training14. American College of Sports Medicine, 2010 51
  52. 52. Cognitive exercise• Cognitive exercise has similar effects• Two together have strongest effects• Visualizing exercise improves neuroplasticity as well• Best exercise is novel tasks: at any level 52
  53. 53. Yoga is cognitive and physical• Yoga, mind/body connection is good for us• Yoga decreases depression, anxiety, hypertension, stress 53
  54. 54. Yoga is cognitive and physicalYoga: the research• Enhanced effects of meditation alone• Study of novice participants in a 12-week yoga training program1515. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2009 54
  55. 55. Yoga is cognitive and physicalResults:• EEG changes were greater in left hemisphere• Participants experienced greater ability to activate their brain, particularly right hemisphere, through yoga• Increased blood flow in right pre-frontal cortex• Changes in amygdala, sensorimotor cortex consistent with changes in processing emotions and sensory phenomena 55
  56. 56. Conclusions• Cognition is complex• MIND-MOOD-BRAIN all connected to health 56
  57. 57. ConclusionsExercise is shown to positively affect cognition inthe following ways:• Improving blood circulation• Increased availability of oxygen and nutrients• Clears metabolic waste 57
  58. 58. ConclusionsExercise prevents disease:• Cardiovascular effects decrease risk of stroke• Shown to prevent Alzheimers, Parkinsons, mild cognitive impairment onset 58
  59. 59. Conclusions• Regular exercise decreases our symptoms of stress (e.g., lowers cortisol)• Improves resiliency• Improves mood- acts as an antidepressant• Increases growth of neurons in key areas: o Frontal lobes, hippocampus 59
  60. 60. Practical AdviceThe Basics:• Do something• Stick with what you stick with• Every bit counts: even 20 minutes of exercise facilitates brain function 60
  61. 61. Practical AdviceThe Details:• Exercise has short term effects of mood, concentration, memory and stress that last for several hours after exercise• Moderate exercise for a six month time frame is beneficial to begin to see long term benefits 61
  62. 62. Practical AdviceThe Details:• Exercise should continue with age• Exercise that encourages cognitive focus has additional benefits : find something that challenges you (ballroom dancing, a new class, yoga, etc.)• Exercise that is interesting is also good (vary your walk!) 62
  63. 63. Special Information: Brain InjuryExercise after concussion is notrecommended:• REST IS RECOMMENDED 63
  64. 64. Special Information: Brain InjuryFor all these reasons, exercise is important forlong term recovery from a brain injury• Promotes mood• Promotes stable sleep patterns• Promotes physical health• Promotes self-efficacy, improved views of health• Promotes neurogenesis in animal models• Increased blood flow in hippocampus 64
  65. 65. Special Information: Brain InjuryFor all these reasons, exercise is important forlong term recovery from a brain injury• Promotes mood• Promotes stable sleep patterns• Promotes physical health• Promotes self-efficacy, improved views of health• Promotes neurogenesis in animal models• Increased blood flow in hippocampus 65
  66. 66. Questions?66
  67. 67. Thank you for joining us!67

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