Exercise Exceeds Socializing at Staving Off Brain Shrinkage, Study Finds

Exercise Exceeds Socializing at Staving Off Brain Shrinkage, Study Finds

 

Regular exercise may offer seniors more protection against brain shrinkage than social or mentally stimulating activities, a new study suggests.

Previous research has linked aging-related brain shrinkage to memory and thinking problems.

In this study, Scottish researchers examined the medical records of 638 people who were born in 1936 and underwent MRI brain scans when they were 73. The participants provided details about their physical activity levels and other lifestyle habits.

"People in their 70s who participated in more physical exercise, including walking several times a week, had less brain shrinkage and other signs of aging in the brain than those who were less physically active," study author Alan Gow, at the University of Edinburgh, said in a journal news release.

(Robert Preidt, HealthDay News, October 22, 2012)