Being a couch potato could shrink your brain

Natural Health News – Poor physical fitness in middle age may be related to brain size smaller to as you age, according to new research.

smaller brain size may be associated with dementia.

“We found a direct correlation in our study between lack of exercise and brain volume decades later, indicating the accelerated brain aging,” said study author Nicole Spartano, PhD, with the School of Medicine Boston University in Boston.

For the observational study, published in the journal neurology 1,583 people who participated in the study of the Framingham Heart, with an average age of 40 without dementia or disease heart, took a stress test.

they took another two decades later, along with magnetic resonance imaging that allows researchers to compare fitness levels and brain volume during the period of 20 years.

What you need to know

Maintaining health bran population aging is now a major concern for physicians and patients.

The new evidence suggests that maintaining physical fitness in middle age and beyond may be the key.

The study found that people with good fitness levels at age 40 had larger brains than their peers unfit when measured after 20 years.

The researchers also performed a separate analysis which excluded those who developed heart disease or started taking beta-blockers to control blood pressure problems or heart during the gap of 20 years; this group had 1,094 people in it.

Participants had the ability to exercise average estimate of 39 ml / kg / min, which is an expression of the maximum amount of oxygen the body is able to use in a minute.

exercise capacity is calculated using the length of time the participants were able to exercise on the treadmill before his heart rate reaches a certain level.

Decreased brain

People who had an exercise capacity 20% below average also had a smaller brain volume two decades later -. A reduction in brain size equivalent to two years of accelerated brain aging

When people excluded with heart disease or those taking beta-blockers, which were 20% less fit than the average reductions saw brain volume equal to one year of accelerated brain aging.

The study also showed that people whose blood pressure and heart rate rose at a higher rate during exercise were also more likely to have smaller brain volumes two decades later. Spartano said that people with poor physical condition often have blood pressure responses and the highest at low levels of exercise heart rate compared to people with a better physical condition.

full implications of size smaller brain are not known, but Spartano noted that “While not yet been studied in a large scale, these results suggest that physical fitness in middle age may be particularly important for the many million people around the world who already have evidence of heart disease. “

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