Do you keep forgetting people or even where you are? Well, you might be able to stop this, albeit temporarily. Brain exercises? Not necessarily.
Relationship between exercise and MCIs
According to a new study, regular body workouts are good for your brain. While this might not be news, it’s interesting to learn that these exercises can slow down the rate of MCIs (Mild Cognitive Impairments).
The study was conducted on 70 senior citizens between 55 and 80 who already have Mild Cognitive Impairments. It was done by a UT Southwestern team led by Rong Zhang, PhD., a professor of Neurology.
According to the authors of the study,20% of people above 65 already deal with MCIs. These MCIs change the brain structure and affect memory and even reasoning and decision-making skills in the long run. For many older adults, MCIs are the first stages of forms of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease.
Blood flow and MCIs
Previous studies on the relationship between blood flow and the brain pointed out that slower blood flow to the brain was responsible for MCIs and later forms o dementia. The research also showed that aerobics could improve brain function and memory in some older adults. However, those studies did not relate exercise, blood flow, and stiffer blood vessels.
Dr. C. Munro Cullum, a professor of psychiatry, admits that there are still many things that we don’t know about the relationship between exercise and cognitive decline. Dr. Cullum adds that when it comes to MCIs, there might be several factors at play, but blood flow is one of them.
All the participants underwent a full cognitive exam, an MRI, and a series of related fitness tests for the study. They were then grouped and requested to choose a fitness exercise that incorporated either aerobics or stretching exercises and doing it for a whole year. The researchers noticed fewer stiff vessels on the participants who finished the aerobic exercises.