Exercise Just Might Protect Baby
Many pregnant women know that working out will help them stay healthy during and after their pregnancy, but a new study found that a mother’s exercise may also protect her baby from neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s, later in life.
The study, published online in The FASEB Journal, shows that mice bred to develop a disease similar to Alzheimer’s showed fewer symptoms and had greater brain plasticity later in life if their mothers had exercised during pregnancy.
Dr. Kathy Keyvani, one of the researchers from the study, said that the experiment shows how behavioral stimuli experiences by the mother during pregnancy can be beneficial in the disease status of the child. She said that the cause is most likely epigenetic alterations, which are changes in the gene and protein expression caused by mechanisms other than the underlying DNA sequence. This is how mothers transfer their own behavioral experience to their child.