Physical Fitness Matters
MedPage Today’s Judith Groch shares that according to researchers at Johns Hopkins, the University of Maryland and the Maryland VA Medical Center, treadmill walking with gait training not only improved walking speed and fitness, but also “appeared to rewire brain circuits in patient’s who’d had a hemi paretic stroke years earlier”. Functional MRI brain scans were conducted on the treadmill walkers and researchers found increased activation in the posterior cerebellar lobe, the midbrain, and the cortical brain areas. The results were not limited to individuals with new injuries; the researchers also saw significant improvement even nine years after a stroke.
Interesting enough, they also found that: “Patients with the most improvement in walking showed the greatest changes in brain activity, the researchers said, but added that it was not clear whether these changes were caused by more walking or whether participants walked better because brain activity in these key areas increased.”