Exercise improves brain function in older adults with MCI

  • A short exercise program improved cognition and brain blood flow in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

A small study has found that a 12-week exercise program significantly improved cognition in both older adults with MCI and those who were cognitively healthy, but that effect on blood flow in the brain was different in these two groups.

While the exercise increased cerebral blood flow in the frontal cortex of those in the healthy group, those with MCI experienced decreases in cerebral blood flow. It has been speculated that the brain responds to early difficulties by increasing cerebral blood flow. This suggests that exercise may have the potential to reduce this compensatory blood flow and improve cognitive efficiency in those who are in the very early stages of Alzheimer's Disease.

The exercise training program consisted of four 30-minute sessions of moderate-intensity treadmill walking per week.

Both working memory and verbal fluency were tested (using the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, and the Controlled Oral Word Association Test).

Changes in cerebral blood flow were measured in specific brain regions that are known to be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, including the insula, the anterior cingulate cortex, and the inferior frontal gyrus.

Among those with MCI, decreased blood flow in the left insula and anterior cingulate cortex was strongly associated with improved verbal fluency.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-01/uom-usf013119.php

Reference: 

Alfini, A. J. et al. 2019. Resting Cerebral Blood Flow After Exercise Training in Mild Cognitive Impairment. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 67 (2), 671-684.

 

Related News

A special supplement in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease focuses on the effects of caffeine on dementia and age-related cognitive decline. Here are the highlights:

Studies on the roundworm C. elegans have revealed that the molecules required for learning and memory are the same from C.

Although research has so far been confined to mouse studies, researchers are optimistic about the promise of histone deacetylase inhibitors in reversing age-related memory loss — both normal decline, and the far more dramatic loss produced by Alzheimer’s.

An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a small electronic device that monitors and regulates heartbeat, and many have been implanted in patients — an estimated 114,000 in the U.S. in 2006.

A 12-year study following the drinking and smoking habits of 22,524 people aged 39-79 has found that in non-smokers, people who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol were 37% less likely to develop stroke than non-drinkers. This association was not found among smokers.

An imaging study reveals why older adults are better at remembering positive events.

The largest ever trial of fish oil supplements has found no evidence that they offer benefits for cognitive function in older people. The British study enrolled 867 participants aged 70-80 years, and lasted two years.

Pages

Subscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest health newsSubscribe to Latest news