Saturday, February 14, 2015

Exercise and the Brain: Research Links

Bill Yates
Brain Posts
February 9 / 2015

I am posting links to some of the most recent research related to exercise effects on the brain.

These come from a process of selecting posts to examine in more detail this month.

Clicking on the links will take you to the PubMed abstract. Most of the abstracts also have free full text links.

Enhancing brain activity through multidisciplinary interventions in the elderly
This Chinese study examined the effects of cognitive training, Tai Chi exercise and counseling on a group of 17 elderly individuals compared to controls. The study examined brain low frequency fluctuations and found improved intrinsic activity in the intervention group for the middle frontal gyrus, superior frontal gyrus and anterior cerebellum. The study noted the value of a group intervention for increasing social support ratings.
Single episode of exercise changes resting state brain networks
This study examined the effects of a 20 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise on resting state connectivity of the brain using functional MRI. Exercise produced significant changes from baseline in several brain regions and connections suggesting a valid model for testing the brain effects of acute exercise.
Dietary and lifestyle guidelines for prevention of Alzheimer's disease
This manuscript summarizes results of an expert consensus guideline on prevention of Alzheimer's disease. The experts recommended the equivalent of 40 minutes of brisk walking three times per week.
Physical activity, inflammation, and volume of the aging brain
This longitudinal study in older adults measured self-reported physical activity and a marker of inflammation known as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). Greater levels of physical activity and lower levels of TNF-alpha (lower inflammation) were correlated with less brain atrophy. 
The effects of chronic exercise on attentional networks
This study examined the correlation between physical activity levels and performance on a task of attention in healthy young adults. The authors found support for exercise as a potential therapeutic modality to improve attention in health young adults.

Photo of sunset at South Padre Island, TX from the author's files.

Follow the author on Twitter WRY999.

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