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Anti-Aging Effects of Exercise

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) affects many older people with noticeable problems with language, memory, judgement and thinking skills. This could be indicative of the early stages of dementia or other diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The white matter within the brain is comprised of vital nerve fibers and is part of the central nervous system. New evidence suggests that exercise can improve brain heath and slow down the aging process by maintaining the white matter integrity.

In a recent study, researchers measured cardiorespiratory fitness (maximal oxygen uptake) in combination with memory and other cognitive tests to measure brain function in older individuals with MCI. Increased levels of physical activity have been shown to positively affect white matter integrity and cognitive performance. The data suggests that exercise and brain heath are linked and that reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels will help preserve brain function. Further studies will be required to determine what fitness levels are needed to offer protection against dementia. Additional work is needed to better understand and treat dementia. In summary, improving fitness may slow down the aging process and improve brain health.

For more information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29226864

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