Walking May Preserve Brain Size And Memory In Later Life
New research shows that U.S. distance of six to nine miles a week can keep the size of the brain and, therefore, to stop the deterioration of memory in old age.
The study was published online on October 13 in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Lead and the corresponding author was Dr. Kirk I. Erickson of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, other authors were also from the University of Pittsburgh, University of Nevada at Las Vegas and University of California at Los Angeles.
Eriksson told the press that our brains decline in late adulthood, and this may lead to memory problems.
Researchers have contributed to the theory that physical activity contributes to maintaining the volume of gray matter in late adulthood, which in turn protects memory function, but we did not have enough studies following large groups of elderly people for a significant number of years ago that with the evidence.
Gray matter consists primarily of the body neurons, in contrast to the axons or fibers that bind them together and transmit signals.
Erickson said that he and his colleagues hope their results will now prompt some "well-structured studies of exercise in the elderly, as a promising approach for prevention of dementia and Alzheimer's disease."
For their study, the team analyzed data on 299 adults mean age 78 years who participated in cardiovascular disease Cognition study where researchers took measures of gray matter, as well as physical activity and cognitive impairment.
Physical activity was assessed at baseline (baseline), the number of blocks walked per week. None of the participants had dementia at baseline.
Patients with high-resolution MRI brain scans to measure the volume of white matter and other features of brain health 9 years after baseline, and they passed the deterioration of cognitive tests to assess memory and thinking skills, and signs of dementia, 13 years after baseline.
The results showed that: At the beginning of the study, the amount of walking ranged from 0 to 300 units, averaging 56. At the 9-year point, participants who reported walking at least 72 units per week (about 6 to 9 miles) to the beginning of the study, there was more gray matter volume than those who walked less (they were "large amounts of frontal, occipital, entorhinal and hippocampal regions). Walking more than 72 units did not appear to increase gray matter further. At the 13-year terms, 116 (40 percent) of participants developed cognitive impairment or dementia. Participants who received the most, it seemed twice the risk of memory problems that. The researchers concluded:
"Plenty walk associated with a greater volume of gray matter, which in turn is associated with reduced risk of cognitive impairment."
"If regular exercise in middle age can improve brain health and to improve thinking and memory in old age, it will be one more reason to make regular physical activity among people of all ages, public health."
Interestingly, the researchers did not measure the volume of gray matter at baseline: presumably, this measure was not available to them in the cardiovascular cognition research data set.
So, strictly speaking, they are not taxed if walking helps keep the brain volume of each person, only that people who walked the most tend to have more gray matter volumes than those who walked less.
There is no evidence of a causal link here (it was a longitudinal study and controlled trial), only offer a close relationship, and reasonable, but it is still controversial, the assumption that he was going, that kept the volume of the brain rather than brain volume to encourage more people to do more walking.
Reasonableness of considering this ex-reinforced by numerous studies that show our brains shrink as we age.
Resources from the National Institute on Aging in the United States helped pay for research.
"Physical activity predicts the volume of gray matter in late adulthood: a study of cardiovascular disease." K. Erickson, CA Raji, OL Lopez, JT Becker, C. Rosano, B. Newman, HM Gach, PM Thompson, A. Ho, and LH Kuller. Neurology, published online Oct. 13, 2010. DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181f88359