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Scientists Discover Area of Brain Responsible for Exercise Motivation

RATE THIS! +33
Posted in Science on 27th Aug, 2014 10:45 PM by AlexMuller

Scientists have discovered an area of the brain that could control a person’s motivation to exercise and participate in other rewarding activities, potentially leading to improved treatments for depression. Dr. Eric Turner, together with lead author Dr. Yun-Wei Hsu, have discovered that a tiny region of the brain, the dorsal medial habenula, controls the desire to exercise in mice.

 
The structure of the habenula is similar in humans and rodents and these basic functions in mood regulation and motivation are likely to be the same across species. Exercise is one of the most effective non-pharmacological therapies for depression. Determining that such a specific area of the brain may be responsible for motivation to exercise could help researchers develop more targeted, effective treatments for depression. 
 
“Changes in physical activity and the inability to enjoy rewarding or pleasurable experiences are two hallmarks of major depression,” Turner said. “But the brain pathways responsible for exercise motivation have not been well understood. Now, we can seek ways to manipulate activity within this specific area of the brain without impacting the rest of the brain’s activity.” 

Tags: brainhealthmental healthdepressionneuroscience

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-08-28
+2
Advances in neuroscience are amazing and have a potential to finally provide much needed help in treating neurological disorders. However finding out and mapping functional areas of the brain is just the first step Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-12-26
+0
I loved this novel because of the premise; but the more I think about it, and especially after having read the excellent The Cornieultfe, the more I find Nathan Zuckerman redundant as a narrator. Reply


 

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