Physical Activity Can Slow Age-Related Brain Volume Loss, Study Finds

Exercising could be an anti-aging antidote, according to a new stud. A report from New Atlas indicated that the study shows that regular exercise can lessen cognitive damage, preserve the heart’s elasticity and generate hormones shielding against Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

Exercising can counter age-linked brain volume loss 

Physical activity suits people in various ways, but research is making inroads into various specifics of the relationship. Now a team of German researchers has found that even the slightest changes in exercising, such as taking stairs rather than the elevator, could counter age-linked volume loss in the brain areas linked to diseases. The experts from the Germany Center of Neurodegenerative Diseases looked at the effects of physical activity on certain brain areas. 

To establish the areas of the brain that respond to physical activity, researchers reviewed findings from a population-based study of 2,500 respondents aged 30 to 94 years. The study measured subjects’ physical activity by having them wear an accelerometer for a week, and they took MRIs to measure cortex thickness and brain volume.

Findings indicated that exercising had a considerable impact on almost all brain regions. If the exercise was intense and strenuous, the brain regions were found to be bigger irrespective of cortical thickness or brain volume. The most notable was the hippocampus which is the memory control center. Additionally, larger brain volumes provide enhanced protection against neurodegeneration relative to tinier ones. 

Seniors are more likely to benefit from exercising 

Individuals that will benefit from exercising are seniors, especially since researchers found that there were volume increases in those who exercised relative to inactive individuals.

Study author Ahmad Aziz explained that this is an excellent development, especially for individuals who are not ready to exercise. Seniors can capitalize on modest low-intensity exercise to increase brain volume and cortical thickness. 

The study also revealed significant genetic overlap between genes influenced by exercise and those impacted by illnesses like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. This especially offers a likely justification for the protective effects of exercise versus these particular disease types.

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