Walking could boost memory say experts

| 01/02/2011

(BBC): Walking for 40 minutes a few times a week is enough to preserve memory and keep ageing brains on top form, research shows. Moderate exercise increased the size of the hippocampus, an area of the brain that makes memories, in 120 volunteers. The year-long trial, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed performance on memory tests also improved. Exercise may buffer against dementia as well as age-related memory loss.

The latest work looked at healthy people in their 60s rather than people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. But the findings have important implications for ageing societies faced with a dementia time bomb. In the UK, 820,000 people have dementia, and this figure is set to double by 2030. Until a cure is discovered, finding cheap and simple ways to reverse this trend is imperative, say experts.

“Even modest exercise may improve memory and help protect the brain from normal decline caused by ageing,” said Dr Simon Ridley of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust .

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  1. Just Commentin' says:

    I prefer and highly recommend a form of exercise that is much more enjoyable than walking. It is also my favourite way of making wonderful memories, and my over-sized hippocampus is full of ’em. The great thing is that you don’t need special shoes – or any other attire for that matter. And if you take it easy you won’t get any blisters.

    (I probably can’t mention here as to what part it makes bigger…but you get the idea.)

    If I still end up with dementia, who cares? People will wonder why the wandering old dude is always smiling. My caregiver will reply that it has to do with an overly active hippocampus. (I might grimace from the blisters every once in a while but my caregiver will tell ’em "it’s just gas".)

    I am currently seeking volunteers to clinically substantiate my findings.

    In the meantime…

    Happy fitness folks!