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Aerobics Improve Brain Function: Boosts Volume and Gray Matter

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Researchers from the Wake Forest School of Medicine, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, have found that aerobic exercise increases overall brain volume and gray matter, and helps improve brain function.

Thirty-five adults with mild cognitive impairment were split into an aerobic group and a stretching group. The aerobic group participated in moderate-to-vigorous exercise four times per week for six months, while the others did stretching exercises at the same rate. The researchers used magnetic resolution imaging with each participant at the beginning of the study and after six months to determine potential changes in the brain.

They found that both groups showed volume increases in gray matter regions linked to short-term memory, but the aerobic group displayed a larger preservation of overall brain volume. They also had greater improvements in cognitive function.


This article appears in the November 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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