Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hope for Schizophrenics

This article I read was very interesting. It dealt the initial idea of exercise being able to stimulate neuron growth of the hippocampus in healthy adults. Why is this important? It is because the disease known as Schizophrenia is associated with a reduced volume in the hippocampus. A February article from Archives of General Psychiatry states that the brain retains the ability to adapt, this is also said to be true for people suffering with psychotic disorders. This increase was brought upon by exercise.
The study was conducted by taking eight Schizophrenics, and eight controls, and having them cycle for thirty minutes a day three times a week. They also took eight additional Schizophrenics and had them play table tennis, which is not an aerobic exercise. The study showed an increase in the volume of the hippocampus in the individuals that participated in the aerobic exercise by 12 percent for the afflicted, and 16 for the controls. The interesting part is the afflicted that played table tennis actually had a decrease of 1 percent.
There will of course have to be more research on the subject, but I can't hid the fact that this intrigues me I don't feel keeping yourself fit will cure all that could afflict you, but the research of late shows a healthy body with help give a healthy mind. This idea is not new, but now we have some hard data to go alone with the feeling that the idea was correct.

Ray Cliche Jr (7)


  1. This is another great reason for exercising to benefit our health. I will probably read more about this just to learn the complexities of the hippocampus. It seems that any type of exercise will benefit the mechanics of the brain. A healthy mind certainly leads to a healthy body.

    Posted by Vinh Tran

  2. It is amazing what exercise can do for your body. People do not realize how helpful it is in maintaining a healthy life. This is an interesting point, but it does not come as much of a shock to me because I know how great exercise is on the brain and the body. I did not know that it can in fact it can help schizophrenia. I would like to see more research done on this because I think it can be a really great thing. I wonder why there was a decrease in patients who played table tennis versus cycling. This is somewhat irrelevant, however, I recently watched an episode of Dr. Oz and he stated that playing table tennis can help with Alzheimer’s disease.

    Posted by Amanda Makowski

  3. The reason why the effect was different on the table tennis group was because it is the aerobic activity itself that produces the desired effect of the increase in the hippocampus. The table tennis even though was an exercise was not an aerobic based exercise. The area of the brain effected by the exercise would be different than a straight aerobic exercise. This is the reason why table tennis can have a different effect on the brain, in that it could help a patient suffering from Alzheimer' disease while at the same time not have an effect on the patient's that have Schizophrenia. I do hope more reaserch can be done, I know the benifit's of excercise are not new, but again it is good to have hard data that it can help peolpe with mental disorders.