Scientists prove ‘long-term exercise triggers brain cell growth and improves memory’

  • Scientists claim that muscles exercise boost memory and learning
  • Muscles exercise such as aerobic exercise gets the heart pumping which then produces protein called cathepsin B
  • The protein travels to the brain and triggers neuron growth

Researchers from the National Institute on Ageing based in the US recently claimed that a protein called cathepsin B, which can be derived from muscles exercise, may help boost brain cell growth that could boost memory and learning.

Muscles exercise specifically aerobic exercise gets the heart pumping thereby producing cathepsin B which then travels to the brain and triggers neuron growth, an article written by Sarah Knapton on The Telegraph disclosed.

The research team also concluded that the levels of the protein soars when humans exercise.

According to Dr. Henriette van Praag, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging in the United States who is also the senior author, said that a consistent healthy lifestyle is the key factor.

The senior author said the team did a screen for proteins that could be secreted by muscle tissue and transported to the brain.

“Moreover, in humans who exercise consistently for four months, better performance on complex recall tasks, such as drawing from memory, is correlated with increased cathepsin B levels.”

The researchers first noticed the protein when studying mice which exercised regularly on wheels. The level of protein rose in the blood and muscle tissue the more the mice ran. When cathepsin B was applied to brain cells in a lab it spurred the production of molecules related to neurogenesis – the growth of neurons.

Furthermore, the team also found that mice who were genetically modified so that they no longer produced the protein performed less well in memory tests.

“We also have evidence from our study that cathepsin B is upregulated in blood by exercise for three species–mice, Rhesus monkeys, and humans,” Dr van Praag said as she added that the study supports that the more substantial changes occur with the maintenance of a long-term exercise regimen.