Exercise Prevents Brain Atrophy
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Daily exercise is not only good for the body but also for the mind according to new research. This study shows that being physically fit can prevent brain atrophy and may ward off dementia.
Brain atrophy is a common feature of many of the diseases that affect the brain. Atrophy of any tissue means loss of cells. In brain tissue, atrophy describes a loss of neurons and the connections between them. Atrophy can be generalized, which means that all of the brain has shrunk; or it can be focal, affecting only a limited area of the brain and resulting in a decrease of the functions that area of the brain controls. If the cerebral hemispheres (the two lobes of the brain that form the cerebrum) are affected, conscious thought and voluntary processes may be impaired
“The results of this study showed that adults with lower energy expenditure were at risk for frontal lobe atrophy progression. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine can be a helpful step to prevent conditions caused by brain atrophy, such as dementia,” the primary investigator, Atsumu Yuki, Ph.D., of the Center for Development of Advanced Medicine for Dementia in Japan was quoted saying.
The longitudinal study of more than 750 adults collected data regarding physical activity levels using accelerometry sensors compared to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain over an eight-year period. The results demonstrated that physical activity level was a significant predictor of frontal lobe atrophy progression, suggesting that exercise and physical activity can help keep the brain healthy as well as the rest of the body.
This study contributes to the growing body of evidence that exercise is not only important for athletic performance and aesthetics, but also can be used in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases and illnesses.
Source: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, December 2012