Researchers knew that exercise can alter brain chemicals, lifting mental states in humans and potentially staving off cognitive decline. The exact process remained largely unclear until now. New research suggests selenium may play a key role in exercise-mediated memory improvement. This could open the door for applications in brain-injured patients and those suffering from dementia.
A new study suggests selenium may play a key role in exercise-mediated memory improvement in mice.
Scientists have known for years that a good workout increases the human brain’s ability to grow neurons and elevates a person’s mood. How and why this process occurs remained a puzzle until a recent study by a team from the University of Queensland’s Brain Institute connected exercise with increased levels of selenium.
Neuroscientist Tara Walker found that exercising mice produce a protein containing selenium, which stimulates their brains to produce more neurons. She thinks the element could ease mental decline in older people, and possibly benefit brain injury patients.
Research of nutritional biochemist Bárbara Cardoso and co-workers at Monash University’s Victorian Heart Institute suggests that selenium – found in legumes, grains, and Brazil nuts – can improve verbal and mental abilities in older people. She thinks selenium...
Science journalist Rodrigo Pérez Ortega reports on health, medicine, life sciences, policy and academia.