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BNA 2023 | The impact of diet and exercise on adult hippocampal neurogenesis

David Petrik, PhD, from the University of Cardiff, discusses the effects of diet and exercise on adult neurogenesis in the hypothalamic neurogenic niche. Inspired by previous research in the mid-1990s by Gerd Kempermann in Fred Gage’s lab, which revealed that voluntary physical exercise enhances the proliferation of adult stem cells in the hippocampus, Dr Petrik aimed to investigate whether the same phenomenon occurs in the hypothalamus. Preliminary findings indicate that the responsiveness of stem cells in the hypothalamus to voluntary exercise is not as robust as that of the stem cells in the adult hippocampus. This suggests that there may be varying degrees of responsiveness among stem cells in different regions of the adult mammalian brain. His study aims to further explore and understand these differences, shedding light on the unique dynamics of neurogenesis in the hypothalamic neurogenic niche. Further exploration of these findings may uncover new avenues for promoting neurogenesis and potentially provide insights into the maintenance of brain health and function. This interview took place at The BNA 2023 International Festival of Neuroscience in Brighton, UK.

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