Running triggers production of a molecule that repairs the brain in animal models of neurodegenerative disease

Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Researchers at the University of Ottawa and The Ottawa Hospital have discovered that a molecule triggered by running can help repair certain kinds of brain damage in animal models. They found that this molecule, called VGF nerve growth factor, helps to heal the protective coating that surrounds and insulates nerve fibres. Their study, published in Cell Reports, could pave the way for new treatments for multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative disorders that involve damaged nerve insulation.

“We are excited by this discovery and now plan to uncover the molecular pathway that is responsible for the observed benefits of VGF,” said Dr. Picketts, senior author of the paper and a professor at the University of Ottawa and senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital. “What is clear is that VGF is important to kick-start healing in damaged areas of the brain.”

Read the full news release by The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

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