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Brain and Mental Performance

Activity found to Boost Nerve Cells in Mice

16 years, 7 months ago

1762  0
Posted on Sep 25, 2002, 1 p.m. By Bill Freeman

Researchers have found evidence suggesting that remaining physically and mentally active throughout life may help to stave off Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. For the study, researchers kept one group of middle-aged mice in a cage with plastic tunnels, a running wheel and other objects that were regularly rearranged, while another group lived in a bare cage with just a few other mice for company.

Researchers have found evidence suggesting that remaining physically and mentally active throughout life may help to stave off Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. For the study, researchers kept one group of middle-aged mice in a cage with plastic tunnels, a running wheel and other objects that were regularly rearranged, while another group lived in a bare cage with just a few other mice for company. Results showed that the mice who lived in the more stimulating environment produced five times more nerve cells in the hippocampus region of the brain than those living in the bare cage. The stimulated mice also scored better on intelligence tests, were more curious, and adapted faster when placed in a new environment.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Annals of Neurology 2002; Published Online 10.1002/ana.10262

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