About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Want To Keep Your Brain On Its Toes: Physical Exercise Is The Best

by Rishika Gupta on January 17, 2019 at 9:13 PM
Font : A-A+

 Want To Keep Your Brain On Its Toes: Physical Exercise Is The Best

Older adults will be in more control of their memory and thinking abilities if they move more, either with daily exercise or even simple routine physical activity like housework, finds a new study. The results of this study are published in the online issue of Neurology.

"Our research team measured levels of physical activity in study participants an average of two years prior to death, and then examined their brain tissue after death, and found that moving more may have a protective effect on the brain," said study author Aron S. Buchman, MD, of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "People who moved more had better thinking and memory skills compared to those who didn't move much at all. We found movement may essentially provide a reserve to help maintain thinking and memory skills when there are signs of dementia present in the brain."

Advertisement


The study looked at 454 older adults; 191 had dementia, and 263 did not. All participants were given physical exams and thinking and memory tests every year for 20 years. Participants agreed to donate their brains for research upon death. The average age at death was 91.

At an average of two years before death, researchers gave each participant an activity monitor called an accelerometer. The wrist-worn device monitored physical activity around the clock, everything from small movements such as walking around the house to more vigorous movements like exercise routines.
Advertisement

Researchers collected and evaluated seven days of movement data for each participant and calculated an average daily activity score. The results were measured in counts per day, with an overall average of 160,000 counts per day. People without dementia had an average of 180,000 counts per day and people with dementia had an average of 130,000 counts per day.

After death, researchers examined the brain tissue of each participant, looking for lesions and biomarkers of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers found that higher levels of the daily movement were linked to better thinking and memory skills. The study also found that people who had better motor skills, skills that help with movement and coordination, also had better thinking and memory skills.

For every increase in physical activity by one standard deviation, participants were 31 percent less likely to develop dementia. For every increase in motor ability by one standard deviation, participants were 55 percent less likely to develop dementia.

Buchman said analysis showed that physical activity and motor abilities accounted for 8 percent of the difference among people's scores on the thinking and memory tests.

The relationship between activity and test scores was consistent even when researchers adjusted for the severity of participants' brain lesions. They also found that the relationship was consistent in people who had dementia and people who did not.

The link between a higher level of physical activity, better thinking and memory skills were unrelated to the presence of biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders.

"Exercise is an inexpensive way to improve health, and our study shows it may have a protective effect on the brain," said Buchman. "But it is important to note that our study does not show cause and effect. It may also be possible that as people lose memory and thinking skills, they reduce their physical activity. More studies are needed to determine if moving more is truly beneficial to the brain."

A limitation of the study was that it did not have data on how active participants were over the course of their lives, just at one point later in life, so it is unknown if physical activity in early life also may have played a role. Also, the study did not include the type of physical activity, so it is difficult to determine if one physical activity may be more beneficial than another.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Ways to Manage Stress during COVID-19 Pandemic
Can Adjusting Fatty Acid Intake Improve Mood in Bipolar Disorder Patients?
Insulin Resistance Doubles the Risk of Major Depressive Disorder
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Parkinsons Disease Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Tips to Live Longer Brain Brain Facts Exercise and Fitness Lifestyle Modification: No Big Deal! Ataxia Body Types and Befitting Workouts 

Recommended Reading
Daily Physical Exercise Can Promote Elimination of Toxic Proteins from Muscles
New study finds a link between daily physical exercise and prevention of muscle dysfunction....
Can Physical Exercises Delay Memory Problems in Alzheimer's Patients?
Aerobic exercise training may delay the decline in memory function that occurs in individuals who .....
Physical Exercise Protects Our Heart Health
The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits ...
Physical Exercise and Mild Electric Stimulation Improves Cognitive skills
Multiple ways of exercising the brain can help improve cognitive skills rather than cognitive ......
Ataxia
Ataxia affects coordination. Gait becomes unstable and the patient loses balance. The cerebellum or ...
Body Types and Befitting Workouts
Workout and diet which is well suited for a pear shaped body....
Exercise and Fitness
Exercise is about revamping your lifestyle, not just weight loss. Exercise to get healthy Ė that way...
Lifestyle Modification: No Big Deal!
Simple and practically possible lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in improving our health...
Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsonís disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive dopamine brain cells loss. ...
Tips to Live Longer
Though life is temporary and short, it is possible to maximize the span of our existence by living h...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use