Stroke or spinal cord injury can cause nerve cells to receive excessive stimulation, which ultimately damages and even kills them. This process is known as excitotoxicity, and it is one of the reasons why time following such trauma is critical, while it also implicated in progressive neurodegenerative diseases, e.g. Alzheimer’s disease.
A team of scientists led by Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) has now discovered that lactate, which is produced in the brain and even muscles after intense exercise, can be used to protect neurons against excitotoxicity.
Following acute trauma such as a stroke or spinal cord injury, a certain type of receptors go into overdrive and overwhelm the target neuron with a barrage of electrical signals. This causes a build-up of calcium ions inside the neuron, which triggers toxic biochemical pathways that ultimately damage or kill it.
Read the rest of this great article here: Exercise Waste Product Shields Neurons From Trauma Damage