Now watch this... and pump UP the volume!
Alright, I know most of you are here for the science, and these videos...well, ain't nobody got time fo' dat!
Ok so, atrophy of brain structures is associated with impairment in cognitive function and learning function (the extreme case is Alzheimer disease). Brain atrophy progresses with aging. The gray matter volume decreases by approximately 15%, from the 20s through the 70s. Therefore, preventing brain atrophy may be a promising strategy for preventing cognitive impairment and decline.
There is now a pretty good body of evidence that shows physical exercise induces neurogenesis in the brain. For example, the practice of juggling for 3 months increased the volume of gray matter in the bilateral midtemporal area and in the left posterior intraparietal sulcus in young people. Similarly, juggling by elderly people increased their brain volume in the anterior cingulate gyrus and frontal pole.
In particular, aerobic exercise appears to suppress global and regional brain atrophy to effectively increase brain volume. Relatively little brain structural atrophy is seen in elderly people with high aerobic capacity. In another study, six months of aerobic exercise increased the volume of the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, and hippocampus. Aerobic capacity is correlated with the preservation of gray matter in the medial–temporal, parietal, and frontal areas in elderly people. Aerobic quick-step walking suppressed hippocampal atrophy and improves cognitive function in elderly people. These reports suggest the possibility that aerobic exercise prevents brain atrophy.
This new study analyzed 381 men and 393 women whose daily physical activities and total energy expenditures of the participants were recorded at baseline. Multiple logistic regression models were fit to determine the association between activity energy expenditure, number of steps, and total energy expenditure variables and frontal and temporal lobe atrophy progression while controlling for possible confounders.
In male participants, the odds ratio of frontal lobe atrophy progression was 3.4 times higher for the fifth quintile compared with the first quintile in activity energy expenditure, and 3.7 times higher for the number of steps (comparing the same quintiles). Men and women with low total energy expenditure were at risk for frontal lobe atrophy progression.
The results give further evidence that physical activity and total energy expenditure are significant predictors of brain atrophy and resulting cognitive decline. Promoting participation in physical activities may be beneficial for preventing and attenuating age-related dementia, Alzheimer's, and other cognitive disorders.
Source: Relationship between Physical Activity and Brain Atrophy Progression
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