Even Simple Exercise May Help Aging Brain, Study Hints

Lauran Neergaard - Associated Press
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August 7, 2022


How Exercise Slows Brain Ageing (Ology)

New research hints that even a simple exercise routine just might help older people with mild memory problems.

Doctors have long advised physical activity to help keep a healthy brain fit. But the government-funded study marks the longest test of whether exercise makes any difference once memory starts to slide — research performed amid a pandemic that added isolation to the list of risks to participants’ brain health.

Researchers recruited about 300 sedentary older adults with hard-to-spot memory changes called mild cognitive impairment or MCI - a condition that’s sometimes, but not always, a precursor to Alzheimer’s. Half were assigned aerobic exercises and the rest stretching-and-balance moves that only modestly raised their heart rate.

The Best Type of Exercise for Your Brain (Dr. Eric Berg DC)

Another key component: Participants in both groups were showered with attention by trainers who worked with them at YMCAs around the country - and when COVID-19 shut down gyms, helped them keep moving at home via video calls.

After a year, cognitive testing showed overall neither group had worsened, said lead researcher Laura Baker, a neuroscientist at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Nor did brain scans show the shrinkage that accompanies worsening memory problems, she said.

By comparison, similar MCI patients in another long-term study of brain health -- but without exercise -- experienced significant cognitive decline over a year.

Read the rest at Associated Press

Related: Large Study Suggests Doing Chores May Be Linked to a 21% Reduced Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease (Good News Network)

Related: This Fruit Could Help Improve Memory and Ward Off Dementia, Study Says (Good News Network)

Related: Sunshine Could Ward Off Dementia and Strokes: First-Ever Direct Link to Vitamin D Found (Good News Network)

Notice: This content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.

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