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Exercise and Brain Health

Posted Jun 24 2009 11:37am

Hours of exercising need not be spent to reap the benefits of exercise. Spending as little of 3 hours a week may keep your brain healthy according to a small study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recruited 12 healthy adults aged 60- 76. Half the subjects had exercised aerobically for 3 or more hours /week the other half was inactive. Each participant received a MRI and MR angiography to examine brain function. The older adults who exercised 3 hours or more a week had a greater blood flow and greater number of smaller vessels compared to their inactive counter parts.

According to lead researcher J Keith Smith, MD, improvement in blood flow in older adult exercisers may prevent cognitive decline. For more information go to www.rsna.org

Take home message- This study enforces the importance of a regular exercise for older adults not only to achieve physical benifits but also to prevent cognitive decline so that a high quality of life can be enjoyed for many years!

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