The concept of neuroplasticity underpins much of our work with neurodegenetrative conditions. It refers to the ability of the brain to rewire itself – something that, until relatively recently, was not fully understood. We now know exercise produces the protein Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which facilitates neuroplastic adaptation – think of BDNF as fertiliser for the brain.
All of which means that, given the right kind of exercise, the brain can create new neural pathways and thus relearn (or figure out different ways of executing) motor and cognitive skills that have been compromised by neurological disease.
But that’s not all, we also know that the right kind of exercise is neuroprotective, which means that it helps maintain (or protect) neurons in the brain. All of which has significant implications for neurological conditions like Parkinson’s, MS, stroke and brain injury.