Daily Physical Activity Can Help Prevent Age-Related Brain Atrophy

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ACSM Research: Physical activity and energy expenditure are significant predictors of frontal lobe atrophy progression

INDIANAPOLIS - Daily exercise is not only good for the body but also for the mind, according to research published in the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. This study, in the December edition of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®, shows that being physically fit can prevent brain atrophy and may ward off dementia.

"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," said the primary investigator, Atsumu Yuki, Ph.D., of the Center for Development of Advanced Medicine for Dementia in Japan.

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.

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