Athletes know a vigorous workout can release a flood of endorphins: "feel-good" hormones that boost mood.
Physical activity is known to improve memory, and studies suggest it may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Exercise researchers discovered a hormone called irisin that is released into the circulation during physical activity. Initial studies suggested that irisin mainly played a role in energy metabolism. But newer research found that the hormone may also promote neuronal growth in the brain's hippocampus, a region critical for learning and memory.
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Columbia University Herbert and Florence Irving Medical Center is an academic medical center and the largest campuses of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
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