Better physical fitness and lower aortic stiffness key to slower brain aging

  • A study found that physical fitness & arterial stiffness accounted for a third of the cognitive differences between older adults, completely erasing age as a factor.

An Australian study involving 102 older adults (60-90) has concluded that physical fitness and arterial stiffness account for a great deal of age-related memory decline.

The study that, while both physical fitness and aortic stiffness were associated with spatial working memory performance, the two factors affected cognition independently. More importantly, and surprisingly, statistical modelling found that, taking BMI and gender into account, fitness and aortic stiffness together explained a third (33%) of the individual differences in spatial working memory — with age no longer predicting any of the differences.

While physical fitness didn’t seem to affect central arterial stiffness, the researchers point out that only current fitness was assessed and long term fitness might be a better predictor of central arterial stiffness.

It's also worth noting that only one cognitive measure was used. However, this particular measure should be a good one for assessing cognition untainted by the benefits of experience — a purer measure of the ability to process information, as it were.

It would also be interesting to extend the comparison to younger adults. I hope future research will explore these aspects.

Nevertheless, the idea that age-related cognitive decline might be largely, or even entirely, accounted for by one's physical fitness and the state of one's arteries, is an immensely appealing one.

Fitness was assessed with the Six-Minute Walk test which involved participants walking back and forth between two markers placed 10 metres apart for six minutes. Only participants who completed the full six minutes were included in the analysis.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-06/ip-bpf061118.php

Reference: 

Related News

Analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in the cerebrospinal fluid has found that both symptomatic Alzheimer’s patients and asymptomatic patients at risk of Alzheimer

Comparison of the EEGs of 27 healthy older adults, 27 individuals with mild Alzheimer's and 22 individuals with moderate cases of Alzheimer’s, has found statistically significant differences across the three groups, using an algorithm that dissects brain waves of varying frequencies.

Data from two longitudinal studies of older adults (a nationally representative sample of older adults, and the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative) has found that a brief cognitive test can distinguish memory decline associated with healthy aging from more serious memory disorders, year

Analysis of 40 spinal marrow samples, 20 of which belonged to Alzheimer’s patients, has identified six

Data from 848 adults of all ages has found that brain volume in the default mode network declined in both healthy and pathological aging, but the greatest decline occurred in Alzheimer’s patients and in those who progressed from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease.

New research supports the classification system for preclinical Alzheimer’s proposed two years ago. The classification system divides preclinical Alzheimer's into three stages:

Initial findings from an analysis of cerebrospinal fluid taken between 1995 and 2005 from 265 middle-aged healthy volunteers, of whom 75% had a close family member wi

Cognitive testing for dementia has a problem in that low scores on some tests may simply reflect a person's weakness in some cognitive areas, or the presence of a relatively benign form of mild cognitive impairment (one that is not going to progress to dementia).

A French study has predicted with 90% accuracy which patients with mild cognitive impairment would receive a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease within the following two years.

Studies linking head trauma with increased risk and earlier age of onset for Alzheimer's disease have yielded contradictory results.

Pages

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