Science found out how to slow brain shrinkage in older adults
(CINDY JIANG, The Johns Hopkins News-Letter) Human brains decrease in volume by a factor of five percent per decade after the age of 40.
This downsizing plays a vital part in the deterioration of brain health in older adults.
Researchers from Australia and the United Kingdom ran clinical trials and examined brain scans both before and after participation in aerobic exercise.
With an age range of 24 to 76 years and an average age of 66 years, the participants included healthy individuals and people with mild cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s and individuals with a clinical diagnosis of mental illnesses such as depression or schizophrenia.
Examples of aerobic exercises that subjects were exposed to include stationary cycling, walking and treadmill running.
Trials took anywhere from three to 24 months, with a range of two to five sessions per week.
According to Joseph Firth, lead author and a postdoctoral research fellow, researchers discovered a significant increase in the size of key regions of the brain.
“When you exercise you produce a brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which may help to prevent age-related decline by reducing the deterioration of the brain,” Firth said.
The data showed that aerobic exercise can effectively slow down the deterioration of brain size among older individuals.
In other words, exercise can maintain the brain’s functions and resist aging. Read the full story at The Johns Hopkins News-Letter.
Also of interest: For Your Brain’s Sake, Just Keep Moving