How Exercise Improves Memory

How Exercise Improves Memory

How Exercise Improves Memory 1920 1280 Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

Recent research from UT Southwestern has revealed that regular aerobic exercise enhances blood flow to key brain regions associated with memory, potentially improving cognition even in older adults with memory issues. This study showed a 47% improvement in memory scores over a year for those who engaged in aerobic workouts, compared to minimal changes in a control group. These findings suggest that exercise might be a valuable strategy for preventing or delaying symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, emphasizing the holistic benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle.

Read the study below:

“The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, documented changes in long-term memory and cerebral blood flow in 30 participants, each of them 60 or older with memory problems. Half of them underwent 12 months of aerobic exercise training; the rest did only stretching.

The exercise group showed 47 percent improvement in memory scores after one year compared with minimal change in the stretch participants. Brain imaging of the exercise group, taken while they were at rest at the beginning and end of the study, showed increased blood flow into the anterior cingulate cortex and the hippocampus — neural regions that play important roles in memory function. . .

Regarding the importance of blood flow, Thomas says it may someday be used in combination with other strategies to preserve brain function in people with mild cognitive impairment.

“Cerebral blood flow is a part of the puzzle, and we need to continue piecing it together,” Thomas says. “But we’ve seen enough data to know that starting a fitness program can have lifelong benefits for our brains as well as our hearts.”


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Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

Dr. Ruelas holds doctoral degrees and is licensed to practice in both medicine and psychology. He approaches his patients by gathering and analyzing data differently from other physician’s moving away from a disease model to a holistic functional model. Read Bio

All articles by : Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.