by Helen Rae
REGULAR exercise can reverse the decline in brain power caused by ageing and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new survey.
The research found speed and sharpness of thought, as well as the size of brain tissue, was increased by aerobic exercise.
Author Professor Art Kramer, of the University of Illinois, cited previous research showing six months of exercise reversed age-related decline.
The article, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found deterioration in the brain’s white and grey matter as people age.
Prof Kramer wrote: “Tissue deterioration is often accompanied by decline in cognitive function, with the greatest deficits occurring on measures of executive control such as task co-ordination, planning, goal maintenance, working memory and task switching.
“However, it is these executive control processes that appear to be the most amenable to an aerobic exercise intervention.”
He found that six months of exercise reversed age-related decline and the brains of older adults retained the capacity to grow and develop.
Physically fitter adults have less evidence of a deterioration in grey matter than their less physically fit contemporaries, the report stated.