Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Schizophrenia Improved By Mental And Physical Exercise

Date:
August 3, 2007
Source:
Howard Florey Institute
Summary:
Scientists have shown that mental and physical exercise can improve behavioral deficits in schizophrenia and repair damaged chemical transmitter pathways in the brain of mice.

Scientists at Melbourne's Howard Florey Institute have shown that mental and physical exercise can improve behavioural deficits in schizophrenia and repair damaged chemical transmitter pathways in the brain.

Related Articles


Dr Anthony Hannan, along with Dr Caitlin McOmish, Emma Burrows and colleagues, characterised a genetically altered mouse and discovered that it had schizophrenia-like behaviours, including learning and memory problems, the inability to process complex information, and abnormal responses to particular sensory stimuli.

The scientists found the mouse's condition significantly improved by simply giving them enhanced mental and physical exercise -- putting running wheels in their cages, plus interesting items to smell, see and touch.

Not only did the mouse's schizophrenia-like symptoms ease through this environmental enrichment, but a specific chemical transmitter pathway found to be abnormal in the cerebral cortex of the mice was selectively rescued.

An anti-psychotic drug used by humans also improved the mouse's condition, indicating that this mouse is a valid model for schizophrenia in humans. Dr Hannan said this discovery could pave the way for the development of better treatments for schizophrenia.

"Through our research, and that of others, we hope a new class of therapeutic drugs will be developed that mimic the effects of environmental enrichment in the brain to treat various brain disorders, possibly including schizophrenia," Dr Hannan said.

"Pharmaceutical approaches may not be the sole answer for a given brain disease. People may still need optimal levels of physical and mental activity, as well as a healthy diet, plus the right drugs.

"We have already identified specific molecules that could be targets for what I call 'enviromimetics' and these may have relevance for other brain diseases. "However, there are obviously major differences between mice and men, and large-scale clinical trials are needed to identify the most beneficial drugs," he said. Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that is brought on through a complex and largely unknown interaction of genes and environment.

There is a nature-nurture aspect to schizophrenia because in human identical twins, if one twin develops schizophrenia, there is only a 50% chance the other twin, who has identical genes, will develop the illness.

Dr Anthony Hannan's ground-breaking environmental enrichment studies have previously shown that a combination of mental and physical exercise could delay the onset and progression of Huntington's disease. As well as movement problems (e.g. chorea) and cognitive deficits (culminating in dementia) this disease has psychiatric symptoms, which can include depression and psychosis.

This research, which also involved collaboration with scientists from the Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria, was published online in the  journal Molecular Psychiatry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Howard Florey Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Howard Florey Institute. "Schizophrenia Improved By Mental And Physical Exercise." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070802095341.htm>.
Howard Florey Institute. (2007, August 3). Schizophrenia Improved By Mental And Physical Exercise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070802095341.htm
Howard Florey Institute. "Schizophrenia Improved By Mental And Physical Exercise." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070802095341.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins