Employees of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases have found that even a little physical activity slows down aging and brain degradation. The results of the study were published in the scientific journal Neurology.
Scientists said that they considered the brain not as a single organ, but as a collection of many subsystems, each of which individually responds to physical activity. To do this, the researchers analyzed data from more than 2,500 people aged 30 to 94. With the help of MRI machines, they assessed the volume and thickness of the cerebral cortex, and also recorded physical activity – due to the tracker on the thigh.
Researchers have found that physical activity affects almost all parts of the brain, and the more activity, the more areas of the cortex are involved. Scientists also drew attention to the behavior of the hippocampus, which is responsible for emotions and memory. It turned out that the volume of the brain is directly related to the susceptibility to neurodegeneration. In other words: the larger the brain, the better protected it is from memory problems.
The results of observations have shown that physical activity brings the most benefits in adulthood. So, participants in the experiment over 70 years old, leading a sedentary lifestyle, showed a sharp jump in brain activity with the start of physical exercise.
This is great news, especially for those who don’t like to exercise. The study found that even something as small as a fifteen-minute walk or climbing stairs has a huge positive effect on brain activity and slows down aging.
A genetic analysis of the parts of the brain that are most affected by physical activity revealed that, along with exercise, the activity of energy-processing mitochondria increases. Mitochondria require a lot of oxygen – this is necessary for healthy blood circulation in the body, which also positively affects brain function.
In addition, the study found that the genes affected by exercise overlap with those that fall prey to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It turns out that systematic activity helps to resist even dementia and other neurodegenerative ailments.
Read also 🧐