La vita deve essere un insieme di esperienze da godere, non da sopravvivere.

L'esercizio fisico è un potente strumento per migliorare le prestazioni mentali e la salute cognitiva.

Che si voglia migliorare la memoria [2], potenziare la capacità di risolvere i problemi, ridurre il rischio di Alzheimer o Parkinson [4][5][6][7], l'esercizio ha un ruolo importante in tutte queste attività. In particolare, i regimi completi di esercizio composti da metodi di allenamento aerobico e di resistenza [8][1] producono nel complesso i maggiori miglioramenti nella prestazione cognitiva. Da notare tuttavia, che anche allenarsi 16 ore al giorno non ci farà diventare il prossimo genio mondiale. Ci sono benefici di ritorno decrescenti [9], e l'ambiente cerebrale favorevole promosso dall'esercizio fisico va altrettanto bene dell'apprendimento attivo che lo accompagna.

Una parola "veloce" prima di approfondire: per la maggior parte degli appassionati della forma fisica, dei culturisti, degli atleti, ecc., è sufficiente sapere che certe azioni possono, con un certo grado di affidabilità, produrre alcune reazioni. Ad esempio, se voglio migliorare la salute cardiovascolare, vado in piscina e la salute cardiovascolare migliora. Oppure, voglio mettere su massa muscolare, (semplificando gli aspetti nutrizionali e lo stile di vita), alzo e abbasso pesi ripetutamente.

Sappiamo che queste attività producono risultati senza conoscere i processi cellulari e chimici sottostanti. Detto questo, in confronto a quanto sappiamo dell'impatto dell'esercizio sulla salute cardiovascolare e sul fitness generale, la nostra comprensione dell'impatto dell'esercizio fisico sulla salute cognitiva è ancora molto carente.

Nonostante un insieme di ricerche molto convincenti fatte fino ad ora, i rapporti di causa ed effetto che sembrano così evidenti in altri settori sembrano ancora quasi farseschi in relazione alla mente. Per definire e diffondere un quadro più preciso, e non solo perché questi sistemi sono selvaggiamente interessanti (avvertimento: l'opinione dell'autore può non essere un campione rappresentativo), tratteremo questi sistemi con alcuni dettagli tecnici (ma non troppo).

1-Intro

Rapida introduzione alla Neuroscienza

Per capire come il movimento esercita i suoi effetti positivi sul cervello, è utile avere un quadro di base delle neuroscienze. Le unità funzionali elementari del cervello sono i neuroni, che comunicano tra loro attraverso protuberanze chiamate assoni e giunzioni note come sinapsi [129]. Neural Progenitors - ExerciseMarcatura neuronale [126]Quando un neurone raggiunge una certa soglia di eccitazione, innesca un 'potenziale d'azione' che viaggia lungo l'assone fino alle sue sinapsi con un altro neurone. Ad ogni sinapsi vengono rilasciate sostanze chimiche chiamate neurotrasmettitori e, a seconda del trasmettitore e dei recettori sul neurone post-sinaptico, questi producono una risposta eccitatoria o inibitoria.


Si noti che il nostro cervello è composto da molti miliardi di neuroni, ciascuno con molte migliaia di sinapsi, che comunicano attraverso una pletora di neurotrasmettitori e sottotipi recettoriali. Γεια σας αγαπώ. Se questo è greco per te, permettimi un'analogia: ogni neurone può essere visto come una stazione ferroviaria. Ogni neurone "stazione" si proietta verso molte altre stazioni attraverso i suoi assoni o "ferrovie", e alla fine di ogni linea ferroviaria c'è una sinapsi corrispondente o 'terminal' con un'altra stazione. In questa analogia, immagina che ogni tratto della ferrovia sia a senso unico (non ci può essere un collegamento da A > B e B > A, ma quando questo avviene si sono rotaie separate), e che le stesse rotaie servano sempre gli stessi terminali. Ogni volta che una stazione riceve abbastanza treni in entrata ai terminali giusti, manda i suoi treni (potenziali d'azione) alle stazioni lungo la linea [130]. Il cervello quindi può essere visto semplicemente come miliardi di queste (mega) stazioni centrali, ognuna collegata a migliaia di altre stazioni. Fantastico.

Neurons as Train Stationsil nucleo dei neuroni è come la stazione ferroviaria di Boston, l'assone è una rotaia che termina con una serie di scambi (sinapsi) che lo connettono al neurone successivo.

Sono impressionato, così ora dici che vuoi imparare il greco: come funziona, e come può aiutare l'esercizio? Per rispondere, è utile disaggregare le prestazioni cognitive nelle sue componenti essenziali. Queste sono: memoria, capacità di risolvere i problemi, velocità di elaborazione e attenzione [10]. Anche se ci sono altre componenti nelle prestazioni cognitive, gran parte della varianza può essere descritta da questi quattro aspetti - compresa molta di quella che potremmo definire come capacità di apprendimento, o intelligenza.


Mentre c'è sovrapposizione tra aree, cellule e neurotrasmettitori del cervello che sono alla base di questi processi, ogni processo ha il suo profilo unico. Li esamineremo uno alla volta, con un focus primario sulla memoria, e sul potenziale impatto che può avere l'esercizio su di loro.

 

2-Memoria >

 

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[126] Human neural stem cells from fetal cortex stained for DNA (blue), neuronal (green), and astrocyte (red) markers; James Pires, Brain Cells Inc, USA

[127] Co-culture of primary rat hippocampal neurons and astrocytes stained for βIII-tubulin (green), GFAP (red) and DNA (blue). Janet Anderl, Millipore Corporation, USA

[128] Image depicts neurons of the dentate gyrus, a layer of the hippocampus; slice is from "Brainbow" mice - mice engineered with genes producing fluorescent proteins. Tamily Weissman.

[129] This section is very simplified, and I strongly encourage all interested parties to learn more about the processes and systems of the brain. It is tremendously interesting.

[130] The impact of each individual 'train' can be excitatory or inhibitory to the postsynaptic neuron (or 'station') - I've kept it simple for the sake of the analogy.

[131] LTP is of course only part of the picture. Spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) describes a broader process for the dynamic adjustment of the strength of connections between neurons.

 

 

 


Fonte: Edward Laux su bodbot.com (> English version) - Traduzione di Franco Pellizzari

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