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Aerobic exercise can help you recover from a brain injury 

Regular physical activity has a plethora of immediate and long-term benefits including building muscle and bone strength, improving your mood, increasing energy levels and helping you maintain a healthy weight.

But new research has found that exercise can also play an important role in the recovery for people with a brain injury.

A review from the University of Queensland’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences uncovered the benefit of exercise on a specific protein involved in brain re-organisation and re-learning following a neurological disorder, such as after a stroke. 

Researchers from the University of Queensland have found that exercise can play an important role in the recovery for people with a brain injury

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) proteins, found in the peripheral and central nervous systems, are crucial to brain development, plasticity and survival.

PhD candidate Christopher Mackay said the review discovered that exercise could positively affect these proteins in people suffering from brain conditions.

‘Increasing BDNF may contribute to the ability of brain cells to grow, change and rejuvenate, and a program of aerobic exercise may increase levels of BDNF in people with a neurological disorder,’ Mr Mackay said.

Regular aerobic exercise may lead to improvements in walking, functional ability, and improved motor performance, researchers say

‘People with neurological disorders have potential to harness neuroplasticity – the ability of brain cells to grow, change and rejuvenate – to help their recovery of motor performance.’

The researchers looked at 984 experimental or observational studies of people with neurological disorders who undertook an exercise plan.

Studies employed either a program of aerobic exercise, a single bout of aerobic exercise, or both.

Other studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise may boost the size…

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