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Brain and Mental Performance

An Active Body Equals a Healthy Mind

21 years, 4 months ago

10017  0
Posted on Feb 10, 2003, 3 a.m. By Bill Freeman

New research suggests that keeping physically fit can also help to keep your brain in tip-top shape in later life. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that three areas of the brain - the frontal, temporal and parietal cortexes - that are adversely affected by aging stay in better shape if a person keeps physically fit.

New research suggests that keeping physically fit can also help to keep your brain in tip-top shape in later life. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that three areas of the brain - the frontal, temporal and parietal cortexes - that are adversely affected by aging stay in better shape if a person keeps physically fit. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Arthur F Kramer and colleagues detected significant anatomical differences in the gray and white matter of physically fit and less fit seniors. These tissues are known to shrink with age, particularly after the age of 30, in a pattern that correlates with declines in cognitive performance. However, Kramer's results suggest that keeping physically fit slows the rate of this shrinkage, and thus possibly the rate of cognitive decline. The authors conclude, that their findings "provide the first empirical confirmation of the relationship between cardiovascular fitness and neural degeneration."

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by News Bureau University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on the 27th January 2003

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