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Higher Fitness Linked to Better Brain Function in Elderly

 

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Elderly & Fitness

Let’s face it. We’re all getting older. We know the effects of aging all too well. We may notice declines in strength or agility. We may not recover as quickly when we get bumps and bruises. Some of us notice declining memory or how fast our brains process information. Well, there may be science backing the way to reduce this effect.

New research supports the idea that certain types of brain activity is higher in those with high cardiorespiratory fitness.

“Previous studies have shown that there’s a relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and behavioral performance in older adults. Other studies have looked at cardiorespiratory fitness and brain function, but really linking all three of those hasn’t been quite been done as explicitly as we did in this paper,” said Chelsea Wong, a M.D./Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois and first author on the paper, published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

Looking at brain imaging and fitness data, the team of researchers found that certain regions of the brain were engaged more when performing two tasks simultaneously than compared to a single task.

By analyzing the areas of the brain that were activated while the study particpants were completing tasks they found correlation between higher levels of fitness and cognitive function.

“This research adds to our growing understanding of the relationship among physical activity and cognitive and brain function–and suggests that we can improve our brain health by changing our lifestyle even as we age,” said Kramer.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

SOURCE:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150911111037.htm (Accessed online 9/15/2015).

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