11 Sep 2008

Exercise linked to brain cell repair in children

4:37 pm on 11 September 2008

New research suggests exercise could help in the repair of brain cells in children who have undergone treatment for brain tumours.

Radiation treatment is known to cause side-effects such as attention deficit disorder, which can lead to learning and memory problems later in life.

Scientists investigating the effects of radiation treatment on mice have found exercise can aid brain stem cell recovery.

Andrew Naylor from the University of Auckland, who collaborated on the research, says it is the first study to show how damage can be reversed through exercise.

Dr Naylor says a recovery regime for children could include activities such as soccer and other brain stimulating activities, which would make therapy more fun for children.

While he says the research has focused on childhood cancers, future research could look at therapies for adults.