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.

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 April 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 April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. 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:
from the past week

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