Three studies have appeared in the last few weeks underscoring the effect exercise has on the ageing brain.

Physical Activity and Physical Fitness may help reduce brain ageing

The first in the December edition of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that physical activity and physical fitness even later in life, are associated with longer telomeres.  Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences that may mark biologic aging.  The study involving 582 adults 73 years +/- 5, carried out by Soares-Miranda et al, found physical activity and fitness could reduce attrition of these telomeres[1].

Exercise may help reverse neurodegeneration in brains

A second study carried out by Reiter et al[2] and appearing in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, showed that exercise may help to reverse neurodegeneration in brains of those with early stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Older adults that improved their fitness through a moderate intensity exercise program increased the thickness of their brain’s cortex, the outer layer of the brain that typically atrophies with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study. These effects were found in both healthy older adults and those diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease.  Thirty physically inactive adults between the ages of 61 and 88 had MRI scans of their brains before and after embarking on a twelve week programme of intensive walking exercise.  Cardio-respiratory fitness improved and so did cortical thickness.  The Study concluded that regular exercise may be important in helping to counteract atrophy in the brain cortex.

Exercise energises the brain

The last study, admittedly carried out on mice by Cheng et al[3], found that exercise can energise brain cell function.  Running increases the expression of an enzyme called SIRT3 in the brain and protects the brain against oxidative and metabolic stress.

So get moving!

So get moving to help your brain!  If you would like help in developing a fitness programme, please contact us at Fresh Perceptions Health, Dublin and we will work with you at a physical and nutritional level.  As always everything we do is based on diet, herbal solutions and common sense.

[1] Physical Activity, Physical Fitness, and Leukocyte Telomere Length: The Cardiovascular Health Study, Soares-Miranda et al, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, December 2015 – Volume 47 – Issue 12 – p 2525–2534

doi: http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/2015/12000/Physical_Activity,_Physical_Fitness,_and_Leukocyte.5.aspx

[2] . Improved Cardiorespiratory Fitness Is Associated with Increased Cortical Thickness in Mild Cognitive Impairment, Reiter et al, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 2015; 21 (10): 757 DOI: 10.1017/S135561771500079X

[3] Mitochondrial SIRT3 Mediates Adaptive Responses of Neurons to Exercise and Metabolic and Excitatory Challenges, Cheng et al, Cell Metabolism, 2015; DOI:10.1016/j.cmet.2015.10.013

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