Exercising boosts mobility and keeps brain active in old age

Exercising boosts mobility and keeps brain active in old age

Physical activity and regular exercise can reduce the risk of brain damage that can lead to mobility issues in old age, according to a research published in journal Neurology. The research team found that people with mobility issues had small areas of brain damage termed as ‘white matter hyperintensities’ in their MRI scans.

Lead researcher Debra Fleischman, a professor in the departments of neurological sciences and behavioral sciences, said, “Our results suggest that daily physical activity may be able to protect motor function from age-related injury to the brain. Preserving motor function is just as important as preserving mental function to maintain independence and quality of life in older age.”

The study participants were made to wear movement monitors on their wrists for 11 days. The physical activity and movement of the study subjects was analyzed by the research team. The researchers found close link between white matter hyperintensities in the brain and the amount of physical activity of the study participants.

The study participants had close association between brain damage and lower scores in movement evaluation. The research team accounted for the weight, blood pressure, depression and other factors among the study subjects to reach at the same conclusion.

“The association between physical activity and motor function in older adults is well-established,” said lead author Debra A. Fleischman of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

“To determine whether physical activity is causally related to improved mobility would require a randomized study,” according to Dr. Richard Camicioli of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

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