Monday, April 4, 2011

Brisk walk boosts memory in aged

Brisk walk boosts memory in aged

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
January 2011


A new study shows that older adults who take a brisk walk three times a week do better on memory tests and increase the size of their hippocampus, a portion of the brain involved with memory formation.

In otherwise healthy adults the hippocampus shrinks by about 1 to 2 percent a year, and the decrease is even more rapid among people with dementia. Brain shrinkage is associated with memory impairment in the elderly.

The findings suggest that loss of brain volume in old age can be delayed, and may even be reversible.  The researchers say that even modest amounts of exercise by sedentary older adults can lead to substantial improvements in memory and brain health and such improvements have important implications for the health of older adults worldwide.

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