The Body-Brain Workout


By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)–From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Older people who keep their muscles in better shape also seem to have brains in better shape.  Sandra Bond Chapman of the University of Texas at Dallas saw this in data on people ages 57 to 75. Some took part in 12 weeks of aerobic activity for an hour a day, three times a week. The rest didn’t.

Chapman looked at blood flow in brain areas related to memory. In fact ,she found early increases in brain blood flow to the hippocampus led to later memory improvements. This brain region is the most impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.

Chapman says being mentally active is even more important.

“Exercise alone gets you a boost, but it needs to be combined with complex cognitive activity.’’

The study in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

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