Start exercising – The discovery that aerobic exercise builds brain cells should put an end to the stereotype of the dumb athlete.

In, Lin Edwards reports that neuroscientists discovered this by studying the effects of running on the brains of mice. Some had wheels to run on and others did not and both groups had their memories tested regularly. The scores of mice with access to the running wheel were almost double those of the non-running group.

The researchers are not yet clear on exactly why exercise triggers the growth of brain cells. It may be because exercise increases blood flow or because it elevates certain hormone levels. Exercise may also reduce the level of the hormone cortisol, which is associated with stress.

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