Exercise and Chiropractic Reorganize the Brain to Be More Resilient to Stress – Vancouver Chiropractor Dr. Marina Stoilov

Physical activity reorganizes the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function, according to a research team based at Princeton University.

While this experiment was done on mice, it represents a model for what happens in people.

One group of mice was given unlimited access to a running wheel and a second group had no running wheel. Natural runners, mice will dash up to 4 kilometers (about 2.5 miles) a night when given access to a running wheel. After six weeks, the mice were exposed to cold water for a brief period of time.

The brains of active and sedentary mice behaved differently almost as soon as the stressor occurred, an analysis showed. In the neurons of sedentary mice only, the cold water spurred an increase in “immediate early genes,” or short-lived genes that are rapidly turned on when a neuron fires. The lack of these genes in the neurons of active mice suggested that their brain cells did not immediately leap into an excited state in response to the stressor.

For the experiments, one group of mice was given unlimited access to a running wheel and a second group had no running wheel. Natural runners, mice will dash up to 4 kilometers (about 2.5 miles) a night when given access to a running wheel, Gould said. After six weeks, the mice were exposed to cold water for a brief period of time.

The brains of active and sedentary mice behaved differently almost as soon as the stressor occurred, an analysis showed. In the neurons of sedentary mice only, the cold water spurred an increase in “immediate early genes,” or short-lived genes that are rapidly turned on when a neuron fires. The lack of these genes in the neurons of active mice suggested that their brain cells did not immediately leap into an excited state in response to the stressor.

Original study.

While this study was done on mice, it helps to show the effects of ‘epigenetics.’ That’s the term for when your environment effectively changes your genetics.