New research shows that a 24 week resistance and endurance exercise program increases brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in people with MS.
BDNF is called the "Miracle-Gro" for the brain. It is a very important cerebrovascular protein which protects neurons and allows for neurogenesis, or the growth of new neurons. BDNF is vital to learning, memory and executive function.
Lower levels of BDNF are linked to Alzheimer's, dementia, depression, diabetes---and now, Multiple Sclerosis.
Cardiovascular researchers have known that exercise increases BDNF levels for quite some time. Why? Because BDNF is created by healthy vascular endothelial cells. Cardiovascular health allows for BDNF creation. How? Shear stress--which is caused by blood flow over the lining of our blood vessels--activates the endothelium, and allows for BDNF secretion.
An active, moving body with an active, pumping heart is essential to the brain.
When will the tipping point occur? When will MS specialists refer to the vascular connection to Multiple Sclerosis and begin to look at the endothelium? When will they prescribe cardiovascular fitness to their patients? When will they change the dialogue, to include heart health?
Still waiting for them---but you don't have to.
Move as much as you are able. Incorporate an exercise program, and increase your own BDNF levels today.