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Exercise Your Memory
Exercise boosts brainpower by building new brain cells in the brain region linked with memory and memory loss, according to US researchers. Tests on mice showed they grew new brain cells in a brain region called dentate gyrus, a part of the hippocampus that is known to be affected by age-related memory decline that begins around age 30 for most humans. The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging scans to help document the process in mice, and then used MRIs to look at the brains of people before and after exercise.
Eleven healthy adults were recruited to undergo a three-month aerobic exercise regimen. The researchers did MRIs of their brains before and after and also measured the fitness of each volunteer by measuring oxygen volume before and after the training program. Exercise generated blood flow to the dentate gyrus, and the fitter they were, the more blood flow the MRI detected.
The next step is to identify the exercise regimen that is most beneficial to improve cognition and reduce normal memory loss, so that physicians may be able to prescribe specific types of exercise to improve memory.
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