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Brain Gains for Older Adults Who Start Exercising

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
12/02/15  9:46 AM PST
Brain Gains for Older Adults

Brain Gains for Older Adults Who Start Exercising By Robert Preidt for MedlinePlus

MONDAY, Nov. 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Beginning an exercise program may help protect older adults’ brains or even reverse early mental decline, a small study suggests.

Researchers placed 34 inactive people, aged 61 to 88, on an exercise regimen. It included moderate-intensity walking on a treadmill four times a week for 12 weeks.

On average, heart/lung health improved about 8 percent over that time, the researchers found.

Brain scans also showed an increase in the thickness of the participants’ cortex, the outer layer of the brain that typically shrinks with Alzheimer’s disease. Those with the greatest improvements in physical fitness had the most growth in the cortex, the University of Maryland researchers found.

The thickening of the cortex occurred in both healthy people and those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, the study showed.

The study was published recently in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

Read the Full Article at MedlinePlus.

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