12:04pm Sunday 20 August 2017

Active lifestyle in elderly keeps their brains running

In a new study, a multidisciplinary research team from the Uppsala University has systematically studied 331 men and women at the age of 75 years. The researchers examined whether an active lifestyle is tied to brain health in seniors living in Uppsala, Sweden. The brain structure of each participant was measured using magnetic imaging technology, so-called MRT, and various memory tests were administered in order to monitor the seniors’ cognitive status.
“We found that those elderly who reported to be more active in daily routine had larger grey and white matter and showed better performances on various memory tests, compared to those who had a sedentary lifestyle. Interestingly, active elderly had also more grey matter in the precuneus, a brain region that typically shrinks at the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease. Our findings suggest that an active lifestyle is a promising strategy for counteracting cognitive aging late in life,” says Christian Benedict.
The data for the study were taken from the major epidemiological study Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS). http://www.medsci.uu.se/pivus/pivus.htm
For more information, please contact Christian Benedict, researcher at the Department of Neuroscience, mobile: +46 (0)73-6145328, e-mail: christian.benedict@neuro.uu.se or Cecilia Yates, information officer at Department of Neuroscience, mobile: +46 (0)704-334801, e-mail: cecilia.yates@neuro.uu.se
Benedict C et al., Association between physical activity and brain health in older adults, Neurobiology of Aging, in press.

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