In a recent study conducted in Italy in 2018, researchers discovered that neurological health depends not only on signals sent by the brain to the leg muscles, but also on the messages from the leg muscles to the brain. The findings of this study give health professionals critical information as to why patients with motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy and other neurological diseases such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, often experience a rapid decline in their health when movement is restricted.
Dr. Raffaella Adami from the Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy states:
“Our study supports the notion that people who are unable to do load-bearing exercises, such as patients who are bed-ridden, or even astronauts on extended travel, not only lose muscle mass, but their body chemistry is altered at the cellular level and even their nervous system is adversely impacted.”
The study determined that using the legs, particularly during weight-bearing exercise, sends critical signals to the brain to produce healthy neural cells. It becomes difficult for the body to produce new nerve cells when exercise and movement are limited.
“It is no accident that we are meant to be active: to walk, run, crouch to sit, and use our leg muscles to lift things. Neurological health is not a one-way street with the brain telling the muscles ‘lift,’ ‘walk,’ and so on.”
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The information provided in this article was originally posted on Neuroscience News & Research.