Physical Exercises Increase Brain Volume

Scientists from the University of Illinois and the University of Pittsburgh have found promising and simple ways for seniors to stimulate their brain structures, thus improving different types of memory.

Senior Fitness

Numerous studies proved that bigger hippocampus is associated with better spatial memory. This paired region of the brain is responsible for the navigation in one’s environment. Remove it, and a person’s ability to record information at a given moment is destroyed (though long-term memory is still there).

Scientific studies showed that, for example, the hippocampus of students who studied for their final exams increased in size.

It is a fact that the hippocampus shrinks with age, leading to memory deterioration and cognitive declines. The rate, at which this occurs, however, differs among individuals, but all older humans are to experience it.

Earlier research by American scientists revealed that exercising can increase the hippocampus size in mice. So scientists embarked on the study to find if the same can work for humans.

They studied 165 older humans (109 of them female) between 59 and 81 years of age. Using magnetic resonance imagining, they measured the volume of the left and right hippocampi. Volunteers also had cognitive and memory tests.

They found that people who do aerobic fitness enjoyed 40% better spatial memory and bigger hippocampus.

According to the statement of professor Art Kramer in the study press-release, high level of fitness is linked to bigger hippocampus, and the people that have more tissue in the hippocampus have better spatial memory. Professor Kirk Ericson adds: “Basically, if you stay fit you retain key regions of your brain involved in learning and memory”.

The findings were published in Hippocampus Magazine.

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