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Running Repairs Neurodegenerative Disease in Animal Brain

Key Message

Canadian researchers discovered that a molecule triggered by running can help repair certain kinds of brain damage in animal models.

Source

Alvarez-Saavedra, Matias et al. (2016). Voluntary Running Triggers VGF-Mediated Oligodendrogenesis to Prolong the Lifespan of Snf2h-Null Ataxic Mice. Cell Reports.17(3): 862–875. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2016.09.030

Purpose

Exercise has been argued to enhance cognitive function and slow progressive neurodegenerative disease. Although exercise promotes neurogenesis, oligodendrogenesis and adaptive myelination are also significant contributors to brain repair and brain health. Nonetheless, the molecular details underlying these effects remain poorly understood.

Evidence

Highlights

  • Running promotes the survival of mice with cerebellar ataxia following Snf2h inactivation
  • Running ataxic mice show enhanced oligodendrogenesis and de novo myelination
  • Comparative RNA-seq studies identify VGF as a contributor to brain repair
  • VGF overexpression improves ataxic phenotype in mice without exercise

Benefit Statements / Outcomes

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

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