Blogs Articles Organizations Biography Jack's Book Contact Information Links

Navigation: SOS Sisson > Traumatic Injury Blog


Jack Sisson's TBI Blog

A hug is duct tape for the soul.

 
A 2006 Jason Polan cartoon from The New Yorker features two gerbils in conversation. In the background is one of those wire wheels you find in hamster/gerbil cages, and one of the two gerbils is saying with maybe a little more self-satisfaction than is warranted, "I usually do two hours of cardio and then four more of cardio and then two more of cardio." (You can see the cartoon, and obtain a copy of it in various forms, at The Cartoon Bank.)

It turns out that maybe the smug little creature was onto something after all (from "Lobes of Steel" in Play, The New York Times's "sports magazine"):
The Morris water maze is the rodent equivalent of an I.Q. test: mice are placed in a tank filled with water dyed an opaque color. Beneath a small area of the surface is a platform, which the mice can’t see. Despite what you’ve heard about rodents and sinking ships, mice hate water; those that blunder upon the platform climb onto it immediately. Scientists have long agreed that a mouse’s spatial memory can be inferred by how quickly the animal finds its way in subsequent dunkings. A “smart” mouse remembers the platform and swims right to it.

In the late 1990s, one group of mice at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, near San Diego, blew away the others in the Morris maze. The difference between the smart mice and those that floundered? Exercise. The brainy mice had running wheels in their cages, and the others didn’t.
Oh, well, that's mice, you say. People are a lot different, right? Er, not necessarily:
[Scientists] have been finding more evidence that the human brain is not only capable of renewing itself but that exercise speeds the process.
[...]
This spring, neuroscientists at Columbia University in New York City published a study in which a group of men and women, ranging in age from 21 to 45, began working out for one hour four times a week. After 12 weeks, the test subjects, predictably, became more fit. Their VO2 max, the standard measure of how much oxygen a person takes in while exercising, rose significantly.

But something else happened as a result of all those workouts: blood flowed at a much higher volume to a part of the brain responsible for neurogenesis. Functional M.R.I.’s showed that a portion of each person’s hippocampus received almost twice the blood volume as it did before. Scientists suspect that the blood pumping into that part of the brain was helping to produce fresh neurons.
The article doesn't address research (if there has been any) on the effects of exercise in the TBI-afflicted. But it doesn't seem like much of a stretch (no pun intended) to imagine that working out can help, and perhaps help a lot. (We've seen this with Jack himself, who had dropped tennis for a while but has recently gotten back into it -- as TLS mentioned in a post back in July.)

Labels: , , ,


TBI Film Reviews
TBI Book Reviews
Traumatic Brain Injury Law Blog
Brain Blog
NeuroNotes
Brain Blogger
SoapBlox/Chicago: Protecting Our Troops
Head Injury Survival Journal
Losing the Physical Self

Tower of Hanoi: Instructions for this popular puzzle can be viewed simply by clicking the Instructions button on that page.

May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   January 2009   March 2009   April 2009   December 2009   April 2010   May 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   October 2010   November 2010   January 2011   February 2011   March 2011   April 2011   May 2011   June 2011   July 2011   August 2011   September 2011   October 2011   November 2011   December 2011   January 2012   February 2012   March 2012   April 2012   May 2012   June 2012   October 2012   November 2012   December 2012   January 2013   February 2013   March 2013   April 2013   May 2013   June 2013   October 2013  

only sossisson.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

FindingBlog - Blog Directory