Outline on Exercise and Brain Function

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Andrew Zhang


Exercise is seen to physically improve the health and function of the brain. This involves a variety of molecular and cellular mechanisms, including significant increases of beneficial neurotrophic factors like BDNF. In addition, neurogenesis in the hippocampus is also increased after exercise. Hippocampal vascular structures, like blood flow, are improved. Plasticity is also improved. Additional molecular mechanisms can contribute to alleviate symptoms of aging and more serious neuropathic diseases. Negative factors like inflammation and reactive oxygen species are mitigated.

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Author Biography

Andrew Zhang, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Andrew Zhang is a sophomore majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Currently, he is a research assistant in Dr. Huimin Zhao’s lab and also part of UIUC’s American Chemistry Society and REACT. He believes that neuroscience is a great field to learn about. There are so many things to learn about the brain - especially ideas that can improve our lives. He is excited to be a part of Brain Matters in sharing neuro- science!