PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND FITNESS : MEDICAL: BRAIN: DISORDERS: Study Finds Measurable Boost for Aging Brains from Exercise

 

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PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND FITNESS :

MEDICAL: BRAIN: DISORDERS:

Study Finds Measurable Boost for Aging Brains from Exercise

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Study Finds Measurable Boost for Aging Brains from Exercise

By Linda Searing

April 29 at 6:45 AM

Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/ study-finds-measurable-boost-for-aging-brains-from-exercise/ 2017/04/28/07df745e-2b73-11e7-b605-33413c691853_story.html

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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http://tinyurl.com/lunxlvy

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The question

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Listing all the benefits of exercise takes a long sheet of paper. They include stronger bones and muscles, better weight control, improved mental health, mood enhancement and less risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and some cancers. Do the benefits also include better cognitive functioning after middle age?

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This study

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The researchers analyzed data from 39 studies of people 50 and older who had been randomly assigned to a supervised exercise program involving aerobic exercise, resistance training (such as working with weights), a combination of aerobic and resistance, tai chi or yoga, or to a program using a non-exercise alternative. No one was excluded based on cognitive status. All studies measured the effects of exercise on cognition, including attention, executive function (skills that help you get things done) and memory.

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Standardized neuropsychological tests showed that, compared with non-exercisers, cognitive functioning improved in those who did aerobic or resistance exercise, regardless of cognitive abilities at the start of the study and including those with mild cognitive impairment. Moderate to vigorous physical exercise for 45 to 60 minutes, no matter how frequent, yielded the greatest benefit. Tai chi also improved cognitive function.

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Who may be affected?

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People 50 and older. Everyones brain changes with age, and shrinkage in some areas of the brain can result in memory lapses or difficulty multitasking. The effects vary greatly from person to person. However, research has shown that the brain is capable of regrowth and that an older brain can learn new things, especially with intellectual stimulation.

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Aerobic exercise promotes executive functions and impacts functional neural activity among older adults with vascular cognitive impairment

Chun Liang Hsu1,2,3,4, John R Best1,2,3,4, Jennifer C Davis1,2,3,4, Lindsay S Nagamatsu5, Shirley Wang1,2,3,4, Lara A Boyd2,3, GY Robin Hsiung6, Michelle W Voss7,8, Janice Jennifer Eng2,9, Teresa Liu-Ambrose1,2,3,4

Abstract

Background

Vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) results from cerebrovascular disease, and worldwide, it is the second most common type of cognitive dysfunction. While targeted aerobic training is a promising approach to delay the progression of VCI by reducing cardiometabolic risk factors, few randomised controlled trials to date have specifically assessed the efficacy of aerobic training on cognitive and brain outcomes in this group at risk for functional decline.

Aim

To examine the effect of moderate-intensity aerobic training on executive functions and functional neural activity among older adults with mild subcortical ischaemic VCI (SIVCI).

Summary Aerobic training among older adults with mild SIVCI can improve executive functions and neural efficiency of associated brain areas. Future studies with greater sample size should be completed to replicate and extend these findings.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2016-096846

http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2017/04/21/bjsports-2016-096846

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Article has an altmetric score of 52

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Picked up by 3 news outlets

Tweeted by 35

2 readers on Mendeley

Title

Aerobic exercise promotes executive functions and impacts functional neural activity among older adults with vascular cognitive impairment

Published in British Journal of Sports Medicine, April 2017

DOI     10.1136/bjsports-2016-096846

Pubmed ID 28432077

Authors

Chun Liang Hsu, John R Best, Jennifer C Davis, Lindsay S Nagamatsu, Shirley Wang, Lara A Boyd, GY Robin Hsiung, Michelle W Voss, Janice Jennifer Eng, Teresa Liu-Ambrose[hide]

Abstract

Vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) results from cerebrovascular disease, and worldwide, it is the second most common type of cognitive dysfunction. While targeted aerobic training is a promising approach to delay the progression of VCI by reducing cardiometabolic risk factors, few randomised controlled trials to date have specifically assessed the efficacy of aerobic training on cognitive and brain outcomes in this group at risk for functional decline. To examine the effect of moderate-intensity aerobic training on executive functions and functional neural activity among older adults with mild subcortical ischaemic VCI (SIVCI). Older adults with mild SIVCI were randomly assigned to: (1) 6-month, 3week aerobic training (n=10) or (2) usual care (control; n=11). Participants completed functional MRI (fMRI) at baseline and trial completion. During the fMRI sessions, behavioural performance on the Eriksen flanker task and task-evoked neural activity were assessed. At trial completion, after adjusting for baseline general cognition, total white matter lesion volume and flanker performance, compared with the control group, the aerobic training group significantly improved flanker task reaction time. Moreover, compared with the controls, the aerobic training group demonstrated reduced activation in the left lateral occipital cortex and right superior temporal gyrus. Reduced activity in these brain regions was significantly associated with improved (ie, faster) flanker task performance at trial completion. Aerobic training among older adults with mild SIVCI can improve executive functions and neural efficiency of associated brain areas. Future studies with greater sample size should be completed to replicate and extend these findings.

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PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND FITNESS : MEDICAL: BRAIN: DISORDERS: Study Finds Measurable Boost for Aging Brains from Exercise

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