Rethinking Seizure Care Blog

Can Childhood Exercise Increase Brain Function?

Posted by RSC Diagnostics on Nov 21, 2019

Summertime and swimming activities for happy children on the pool

Everyone knows that exercise is good for the body. It helps to keep people in good shape physically, to feel great and have a strong heart. However, a recent study, published in Immunology & Cell Biology, found that exercise in childhood could alter the gut microbiota and may actually help to improve the function of the brain as well as the emotions.

The goal of the study, conducted by Agnieszka Mika, PhD and Monika Fleshner, PhD, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, looked into how exercise at the earlier stages of life would be able to improve the metabolic function and brain function not only at the time of the exercise, but across an entire lifetime.

What Did the Research Reveal?

Researchers found that when children started exercising, it had the ability to improve their brain function, and even to protect them from psychiatric disorders caused by stress. This could mean that the exercise may be of benefit to those who suffer from seizures, as discussed below.

The study also found that when children exercise, it affects the gut microbiota. Namely, it would increase probiotics in the gut, which can help a number of conditions. The increase in the microbiota is able to offer benefits to the metabolism as well as to the neural network. This helped to improve brain function and a sense of emotional well-being not only in childhood, but also across the person’s life.

When exercise was initiated as an adult, the effects were far less pronounced. The researchers suggest that adding early childhood exercise would help to improve mood and emotional balance, as well as metabolism thanks to the increase in the gut bacteria. They are continuing to study these effects and how much age is a factor on how the bacteria help to develop the host – humans in this case.

Although the research into this area is still relatively new, and there needs to be more work done, the findings so far have been very promising for a number of potential conditions that plague adults. By adding exercise to children's lives, it could help to make a healthier and better-adjusted population.

What Could This Mean for Seizures?

While the study focused on psychiatric disorders caused by stress and did not focus on seizures, we know that stress can increase the risk of having a seizure. Exercise is a wonderful stress reducer so adding exercise to the lives of children who suffer from this disorder may help to reduce the number of seizures that they face. This is particularly true if they adhere to a regular exercise regimen for the rest of their lives.

While this is not a cure, it could help many parents and children who suffer from seizures who are looking for ways to get a better handle on their conditions. In addition, the exercise will help to keep them healthy in most other areas of their life as well. Better health overall is always a good thing.

If you have a child who suffers from seizures, talk to your specialist about the benefits of adding exercise to their wellness routine. While you never want to skip medicines and other treatments and advice from the doctor, you will likely find that adding exercise to your child’s life can help to make their life more enjoyable.

Even though the study shows that improved lifelong brain function is more beneficial for children who are still developing, adults can still gain a number of benefits from regular exercise. Do not discount how important it could be. Exercise is good for everyone.




Topics: Seizure Management