Physical activity linked to better brain health & cognition in older adults

  • A study found that older adults remembered names better after moderately intense exercise.
  • A large, long-running study found that each hour of light physical activity per week was linked to less brain atrophy.
  • Similarly, another long-running study reported that higher levels of lifestyle physical activity were associated with less brain atrophy.

Exercise activates brain networks in older adults

A study involving healthy older adults (55-85) found that recall was better after a session of moderately intense exercise, and several crucial brain regions showed greater activation.

The recall task involved identifying famous names and non famous ones. The test occurred 30 minutes after the exercise session (using an exercise bike) and on a separate day after a period of rest.

Brain activation while correctly remembering names was significantly greater in the hippocampus, middle frontal gyrus, inferior temporal gryus, middle temporal gyrus, and fusiform gyrus.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-04/uom-eam042419.php

Light, physical activity reduces brain aging

Data from the Framingham Heart Study has found that each additional hour spent in light-intensity physical activity was associated with higher brain volumes, equivalent to approximately 1.1 years less brain aging.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-04/buso-lpa041719.php

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/apr/19/household-chores-keep-brain-young-research-suggests

Everyday physical activities linked to more gray matter in brains of older adults

Data from 262 older adults (mean age 81) in the long-running Rush's Memory and Aging Project, found that higher levels of lifestyle physical activity (e.g., house cleaning, dog-walking, gardening, as well as exercise) are associated with more gray matter.

Participants wore an accelerometer continuously for seven to ten days, in order to accurately measure the frequency, duration and intensity of a participant's activities.

The association between physical activity and gray matter volumes remained after further controlling for age, gender, education levels, body mass index and symptoms of depression.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-02/rumc-eaa021318.php

Reference: 

Related News

A study involving 39 older adults has found that those randomly assigned to a “high-challenge” group showed improved cognitive performance and more efficient brain activity compared with those assigned to a low-challenge group, or a control group.

Data from 2,800 participants (aged 65+) in the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) study has revealed that one type of cognitive training benefits less-educated people more than it does the more-educated.

A study involving 266 people with mild cognitive impairment (aged 70+) has found that B vitamins are more effective in slowing cognitive decline when people have higher omega 3 levels.

Growing research has implicated infections as a factor in age-related cognitive decline, but these have been cross-sectional (comparing different individuals, who will have a number of other, possibly confounding, attributes).

Another study adds to the growing evidence that a Mediterranean diet is good for the aging brain.

A two-year study which involved metabolic testing of 50 people, suggests that Alzheimer's disease consists of three distinct subtypes, each one of which may need to be treated differently. The finding may help explain why it has been so hard to find effective treatments for the disease.

A study involving both mice and human cells adds to evidence that stress is a risk factor for Alzheimer's.

Data from 23,572 Americans from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study has revealed that those who survived a stroke went on to have significantly faster rates of cognitive decline as they aged.

A study involving 382 older adults (average age 75) followed for around five years, has found that those who don’t get enough vitamin D may experience cognitive decline at a much faster rate than people who have adequate vitamin D.

Training in a mental imagery technique has been found to help multiple sclerosis patients in two memory domains often affected by the disease: autobiographical memory and episodic future thinking.

Pages

Subscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest health newsSubscribe to Latest news