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Aerobic Exercise Improves Cerebral Blood Flow, Cognition, In Older Adults

November 12, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
It’s no secret that aging decreases mental efficiency and speeds memory decline, a major complaint of older adults. But new U.S. research confirms there is a tremendous benefit from aerobic exercise on memory and “can reduce the biological and cognitive consequences of aging”. For the study, men and women between 57-75 years old who were generally sedentary were assigned to either a physical training or a “wait-list” control group. The exercise group worked out on a stationary bike or treadmill for one hour three times a week for 12 weeks. Measuring cognition, resting cerebral blood flow, and cardiovascular fitness, researchers found that exercisers improved memory performance and had greater increases in brain blood flow to the hippocampus, the key brain region affected by Alzheimer's disease.
Sandra B. Chapman et al., "Shorter term aerobic exercise improves brain, cognition, and cardiovascular fitness in aging", Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, November 12, 2013, © Chapman et al.
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