February 25, 2013
Mental stimulation is important in helping keep the brain sharp, but a recent study shows that there might be another element that’s even more important in preventing brain shrinkage—exercise. A person’s brain typically shrinks in late adulthood, and brain shrinkage is believed to play a role in memory decline. New research in the U.K. studied brain scans of 700 70-year-olds, some of whom reported to exercise regularly, and some of whom reported to engage in regular non-physical activities.
When brains were scanned again three years after beginning the study, those who exercised regularly tended to have larger brain volumes of gray and normal white matter, and physical activity was linked to less brain atrophy.
“It is pretty clear that exercise is one of the most potent things we can do to protect our brain as we age.” – Kirk Erickson, PhD.
Read more about the study and its findings in this article from WebMD.
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Review the study in Neurology.