Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exercise may increase volume in certain brain areas of patients with schizophrenia

Date:
February 3, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Potentially beneficial brain changes (an increase in the volume of an area known as the hippocampus) occur in response to exercise both in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls, according to a report. The findings suggest that the brain retains some plasticity, or ability to adapt, even in those with psychotic disorders.

Potentially beneficial brain changes (an increase in the volume of an area known as the hippocampus) occur in response to exercise both in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. The findings suggest that the brain retains some plasticity, or ability to adapt, even in those with psychotic disorders.

Related Articles


Schizophrenia is known to be associated with a reduced volume in the area of the brain known as the hippocampus, which helps regulate emotion and memory, according to background information in the article. "In contrast to other illnesses that may display psychotic features, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia is often characterized by incomplete recovery of psychotic symptoms and persistent disability," the authors write. "These clinical features of illness may relate to an impairment of neural plasticity or mechanisms of reorganizing brain function in response to a challenge."

The formation of new neurons is one component of plasticity; previous studies have shown that neuron growth in the hippocampus of healthy individuals can be stimulated by exercise. Frank-Gerald Pajonk, M.D., of The Saarland University Hospital, Homburg, and Dr. K. Fontheim's Hospital for Mental Health, Liebenburg, Germany, and colleagues assessed changes in hippocampal volume in response to an exercise program in both male patients with schizophrenia and men who had similar demographics and physical characteristics but did not have the condition.

Eight participants with schizophrenia and eight controls were randomly assigned to exercise (supervised cycling) three times per week for 30 minutes, whereas an additional eight patients with schizophrenia instead played tabletop football for the same period of time. The game enhances coordination and concentration but does not affect aerobic fitness. All participants underwent fitness testing, magnetic resonance imaging of the hippocampus, neuropsychological testing and other clinical measures before and after participating in the program for 12 weeks.

Following exercise training, hippocampal volume increased 12 percent in patients with schizophrenia and 16 percent in healthy controls. "To provide a context, the magnitude of these changes in volume was similar to that observed for other subcortical structures when patients were switched from typical to atypical antipsychotic drug therapy," the authors write. Conversely, patients with schizophrenia who played tabletop football instead of exercising experienced a 1 percent decrease in hippocampal volume.

Aerobic fitness also increased among all who exercised, and improvement in test scores for short-term memory was correlated with increases in hippocampal volume among patients and healthy controls.

"Further clinical studies are needed to determine if an incremental improvement in the disability related to schizophrenia could be obtained by incorporating exercise into treatment planning and lifestyle choice for individuals with the illness," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Frank-Gerald Pajonk; Thomas Wobrock; Oliver Gruber; Harald Scherk; Dorothea Berner; Inge Kaizl; Astrid Kierer; Stephanie Muller; Martin Oest; Tim Meyer; Martin Backens; Thomas Schneider-Axmann; Allen E. Thornton; William G. Honer; Peter Falkai. Hippocampal Plasticity in Response to Exercise in Schizophrenia. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2010; 67 (2): 133-143

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Exercise may increase volume in certain brain areas of patients with schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201171519.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, February 3). Exercise may increase volume in certain brain areas of patients with schizophrenia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201171519.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Exercise may increase volume in certain brain areas of patients with schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201171519.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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