It has been quite a long time since I have posted on this blog. Alas, I went to Africa in the summer of 2012 and got malaria while I was there. It took me almost a year to return to my normal state. During that time, I unexpectedly, but excitedly changed residences, and had to deal with changes in all the psychiatric CPT codes (current proceedural terminology) which tell insurance companies what services we have provided patients, as well as changes in documentation requirements for those services.

It seemed that there never was enough time to tackle my pile of articles that I wanted to review for this blog. The longer that went on, the easier it was to avoid it altogether. New patients to my practice told me they had read my blog and really enjoyed it.

So there was an article in the Wall St. Journal this weekend, Our amazingly plastic brains , about the effects of exercise on the brain. (If you have read my previous and now antique posts, you would know that I get most of my medical news from the WSJ. I thought it an interesting article about the changeablity of the brain, as researchers are actually discovering. When I trained, the brain had a million or more cells, and that was it. No more. no healing, no dividing or regenerating like the liver or the skin if injured, we were told. Yet now, researchers are able to find stem cells for the brain.

In previous articles that I have commented, topics have touched on the brains capacity to learn, or change.We humans are evolved from beings that were constantly moving — gathering in tribes, in hunting, in finding shelter. We didn’t always sit behind desks or aspire to be couch potatoes. I have always felt that exercise is under-rated and very important in our physical and mental health. It helps with sleep promotion, anxiety reduction, and effect moods. It has a profound impact on the state and shape of our bodies — weight reduction, blood sugar regulation, some effect on blood pressure and pulse. I encourage all people, not just my patients to get as much aerobic exercise as they can. Now researchers are starting to say the same thing, and in this article — exercise leads to less dementia, less Parkinsons, stroke recovery…..Hmmm.

So with everything else I am juggling, I guess I need to add more exercise. And hopefully, if I have time left over, it won’t take me almost 2 years to post the next entry here.