Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Counteracting Brain Shrinkage in Older Adults through Improving Fitness

Academic journal article Perspectives in Public Health

Counteracting Brain Shrinkage in Older Adults through Improving Fitness

Article excerpt

A recent study, conducted by Dr Smith and colleagues from the University of Maryland School of Public Health has shown that increasing fitness levels in the elderly may reduce brain shrinkage seen in Alzheimer's disease, even in those already displaying memory and cognitive decline.

In the study, physically inactive participants were recruited into two groups - a healthy group and a group of participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) - with an age range of 61-88 years. The study required that participants walk at moderate intensity on a treadmill four times a week over a 12-week period. By the end of the 12-week period, cardio respiratory fitness had improved by about 8% in both MCI and healthy participants.

Participants who showed the greatest increase in physical fitness also showed the greatest increase in cortical thickness. This effect occurred in healthy participants as well as in the MCI group. Although both groups showed increases in cortical thickness, the MCI group showed a significantly greater increase in cortical thickness compared in two brain areas associated with increased neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease - the left insula and superior temporal gyrus. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.