A new study suggests older adults who regularly exercise have increased blood flow and more blood vessels in the brain.
The research, by the University of North Carolina (UNC), was presented today at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting, in Chicago. The findings support other studies that have shown exercise prevents cognitive decline in the elderly. The blood vessel and flow differences may be one reason
“The findings highlight the importance of regular, long-term exercise to healthy aging,” said Dr. J. Keith Smith, M.D., Ph.D., senior author and associate professor of radiology at the UNC School of Medicine, in a news release.
For the study, researchers used MRIs and MR angiography on 12 healthy adults, aged 60 to 76, half of whom did aerobic exercise for three or more hours a week over the past decade, while the other half exercised less than one hour a week.
An earlier study published in the journal Neurology found those who have symptoms of Alzheimer's and who exercise regularly have four times less brain shrinkage than those who do not hit the pavement.
For those who have normal brain activity, it’s been shown that exercise improves thinking and memory. The theory is that exercise boosts blood flow and elevates growth hormones.
Another recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows regular to moderate exercise can help boost memory function in older people while preventing the onset of dementia. #