A Genetic Basis for Motivated Exercise

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Prior research has demonstrated a genetic basis for motivated exercise, with evidence of a role for nescient helix-loop-helix-2 (NHLH2/Nhlh2). Nhlh2 transcriptionally regulates the monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) gene. This article examines the evidence for the hypothesis that polymorphisms in NHLH2 or MAO-A contribute to differences in the human motivation for exercise and physical activity. The genetic pathways that link exercise and motivation are discussed.

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