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Exercise may lower Alzheimer's risk

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Staying physically fit may help keep at bay, say scientists who found that exercising regularly can improve brain health and prevent decline of vital fibres.

The study suggests that the lower the fitness level, the faster the deterioration of vital fibres in the brain.

This deterioration results in cognitive decline, including memory issues characteristic of patients.

"This research supports the hypothesis that improving people's fitness may improve their brain health and slow down the aging process," said Kan Ding, from University of (UT) in the US.

The study published in the Journal of focused on a type of brain tissue called white matter, which is composed of millions of bundles of fibres used by neurons to communicate across the brain.

The team enrolled older patients at high risk to develop who have early signs of memory loss, or (MCI).

The researchers determined that lower fitness levels were associated with weaker white matter, which in turn correlated with lower brain function.

Unlike previous studies that relied on study participants to assess their own fitness, the new research objectively measured cardiorespiratory fitness with a scientific formula called maximal oxygen uptake.

Scientists also used brain imaging to measure the functionality of each patient's white matter.

Patients were then given memory and other cognitive tests to measure brain function, allowing scientists to establish strong correlations between exercise, brain health, and cognition.

The study adds to a growing body of evidence pointing to the benefits of exercising regularly.

"Evidence suggests that what is bad for your heart is bad for your brain. We need studies like this to find out how the two are intertwined and hopefully find the right formula to help prevent Alzheimer's disease," said of UT Southwestern.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 13:05 IST