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running (and maybe other exercise) and memory

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Richard7, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    Running-Induced Systemic Cathepsin B Secretion Is Associated with Memory Function
    Hyo Youl Moon, Andreas Becke, David Berron, Benjamin Becker, Nirnath Sah, Galit Benoni, Emma Janke, Susan T. Lubejko, Nigel H. Greig, Julie A. Mattison, Emrah Duzel, Henriette van Praag
    Given the memory issues a lot of us face I thought that this was interesting
    Another article was a little more skeptical
    Link to the article at cell metabolism (just a summary the full article is behind a paywall)
    http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(16)30250-9

    I wonder if some part of our memory issues might be related to our inability to do normal levels of exercise. Obviously sedentary people do not have our levels of brain fog etc but interesting maybe, particularly since it seems that cathepsin B is stimulated by ALCAR.

    Anyway though it might be interesting.
     
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  2. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    Thanks for posting, @Richard7. The issues this article raises are ones we're all concerned about. Lately, there has been an explosion in research demonstrating that exercise can enhance cognitive function. For most people, this is happy news, and provides encouragement to exercise. For us, it creates fear and additional worry. Not only can we not exercise as we would like to do, but apparently we're also paying the price in terms of lowered cognitive function!

    I suspect that the effects of physical exercise on cognition will turn out to be lower than currently estimated. This is just because its a fashionable topic right now - whole careers are being built on it - and so there will be all sorts of biases that will favour the publication of larger-than-life results. There may be an effect, but it may turn ot to be much smaller.

    Hope that is comforting to some.

    On the issue of substances like cathepsin B, the problem is always teasing apart cause and effect. People forget that physical activity results in tissue damage, so some substances released may function to repair the tissue. These very same substances may be produced to repair tissue damage in other contexts too. It certainly doesn't follow that causing such a substance to be released - by exercising - will enhance tissue repair more generally.
     
  3. Cheshire

    Cheshire Senior Member

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    Whether exercise has a role to play or not in cognitive function, it is one factor amongst many others. The majority of stephen Hawking's discoveries have been made when he was in a wheelchair and nearly unable to move. If exercise was a major factor, any paralysed person would be unable to think correctly, which is hopefully far from the truth.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
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  4. Valentijn

    Valentijn The Diabolic Logic

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    I think the major issue is that nearly all such studies are looking at correlations, not causation. Does exercise improve your memory, or does being healthy mean that you have a better memory and are able to exercise more?

    Even in the rare prospective exercise-related studies, there never seems to be any attempt to assess health beyond excluding diseases which are already diagnosed. What about people who are suffering the effects of a disease, or a pre-disease state, but are not yet diagnosed?

    They're already finding that exercise doesn't do much of anything when it comes to weight loss, and standing at your desk all day doesn't make you healthier. Suggesting that these myths were born of the correlation between exercise and lower weight, and the ability of healthier/fitter people to stand all day.
     
  5. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    @Valentijn, I seem to remember that some studies have actually used an RCT design. But I can't recall where I got that idea from, or what papers showed it. They certainly didn't control for the effects of increased exercise on mood and self-esteem. People who've stuck to an exercise programme and felt its benefits feel pretty triumphant (Lucky sods!). That's gotta enhance performance at any task.
     
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  6. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    What a great example, @Cheshire! Now Stephen Hawking is a double role model!
     
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  7. Mel9

    Mel9 Senior Member

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    Indeed! That makes me feel a lot better about lolling about
     
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