Mental exercises reduces brain ageing

by Medindia Content Team on  September 9, 2005 at 8:16 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Mental exercises reduces brain ageing
News from the British Science Festival reports that Mental exercises can keep the brain young and improve its working efficiently. Brain exercises such as crossword puzzles, Su doku and aerobic exercises keeps the brain younger.

Su Doku, is a number puzzle in which a number has to placed from 1 through 9 in each cell of a grid, most frequently a 9×9 grid made up of 3×3 subgrids (called "regions"), starting with various numerals given in some cells (the "givens"). Each row, column and region must contain only one instance of each numeral. This mental exercises increases logical thinking. Sudoku initially became popular in Japan in 1986 and attained international popularity in 2005.

Aerobic exercise makes your heart breath harder, and their heart to beat faster, which showed improvements in mental abilities. The benefits were especially marked in the frontal lobes of the brain, which are involved in the ability to organize, make decisions, show initiative, have a sense of humor, pay attention and remember things. Brain exercises increase the production of brain chemical serotonin, which controls the mood and the vigor to do work by nourishing the brain by formation of new blood vessels. Dr. Ian Robertson of Trinity college said, "Cognitive exercises and mental stimulation such as crossword puzzles and Su doku can keep the brain up to 14 years younger. "The brain is plastic, shaped by what we do," he said. "We are all getting healthier and living longer, but the biggest threat as the population ages is to the function of the brain."

Professor Roberton said, "One of the reasons our memories let us down as we get older is that we don't attack the information with the same brain vigor as when we were young". In a small study when young people were asked to memorize words, more activity was found in the frontal lobe of the left-brain and the main memory center responsible for the brain vigor was found in the hippocampus. When the same test was given to older people of 70 years of age, it was found that the left frontal brain did not work the same way as their young counterparts. But researchers from the University of Toronto comments that the lack of left frontal work can be activated in the older people by adding extra mental process to activate the frontal lobes by systematic memory exercise.

Professor Robertson conducted a study with 3000 recruits aged between 65 to 94, the study recruits were given various memory exercises and training for problem solving with computer aided games and the control group had same age matched recruits without memory exercises, the results of the study showed that the group which had mental exercises had an increase brain function of 7 to 14 years younger than the same aged control groups.

"As the population ages, people are going to have to stay mentally active longer. In the future we are going to have to maintain our brains just as much as our bodies." Professor Robertson said.

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