Friday, August 16, 2019
How weight training changes the brain.
Gretchen Reynolds points to work by Kelty et al. showing that weight training in rats can ameliorate mild cognitive impairment in rats induced by a injecting a lipopolysaccharide known to induce inflammation in the brain, creating a rodent form of mild cognitive impairment or early dementia. The weight training also induces chemical factors that support new nerve cell growth. How do you get rats to train with weights? Get them to climb a ladder for a Froot Loop reward with weights gently taped to their rear ends! Do three workouts a week, increasing the load as in regular resistance training. Similar experiments (inducing mild cognitive impairment) obviously can't be done in humans, but it would be useful to look more at whether and how much weight training in humans might stimulate the appearance of nerve growth factors that support new nerve cell growth. Numerous studies have shown that aerobic exercise has this effect.