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RUNNING BOOSTS BRAINPOWER

From: Steven Ng pkiam@singnet.com.sg
Mon, 26 Apr 1999 22:12:58 0800 (SGT)

Running can make you smarter. A new study released by the Salk Institute says that mice who were put in cages with running wheels for 12 days developed twice as many new brain cells as their sedentary counterparts. This new study also debunks the long-standing theory that the brain does not develop new brain cells after birth.

Fred H. Gage, a research scientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and senior author of the study, says that there is good reason to believe that regular exercise can make you smarter. “The new cell growth takes place in the part of the brain called the hippocampus, which has been linked by many studies to learning and memory.”

The mice on the move also performed better on learning tests. The theory has not yet been tested on humans, but if you’re already a runner, this is one more reason to stay with your program or even start one.