Canadian researchers are looking into ways to preserve brain health as we age, but it may surprise you to hear that the focus of their investigation is not the latest medication. Instead, they hope to learn more about the link between exercise and brain health—and if staying active may be the key to preventing the onset of dementia.
A team from the University of Calgary recently completed the Brain in Motion I study, which revealed a link between physical activity and brain health. Specifically, it showed that regular exercise improved the flow of blood to the brain and had a positive impact on cognitive function.
The next phase of their research, the Brain in Motion II study, will further examine that link and attempt to quantify just how much exercise is needed to help prevent dementia. “Our hope is that this trial will provide evidence needed to make clinical recommendations for exercise programs in adults at risk,” said study author Marc Poulin, PhD in a recent university news release.
Dementia, the term given to a range of symptoms associated with a decline in healthy brain function, currently affects more than 46 million people worldwide. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common types of dementia.