Light Workout Sessions Can Boost Memory, Study Reveals

Health News – Researchers at the University of California (Irvine) and University of Tsukuba (Japan) found that even mild physical activity can increase the connectivity between parts of the brain responsible for memory formation and storage.

In a new study, researchers examined 36 healthy young adults by using high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging. They studied the participants’ brains shortly after workout sessions.

The study findings enlightened the fact that even a 10-minute long mild physical exercise can offer considerable cognitive benefits. The researchers observed better connectivity between the cortical areas and hippocampal dentate gyrus associated with detailed memory processing. Additionally, the neuroscientists discovered that the level of heightened connectivity speculated the degree of recall enhancement.

“The hippocampus is critical for the creation of new memories; it’s one of the first regions of the brain to deteriorate as we get older — and much more severely in Alzheimer’s disease. Improving the function of the hippocampus holds much promise for improving memory in everyday settings,” said Michael Yassa, co-leader of the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

According to Yassa, the new study displayed strengthened communication between memory-focused parts of the human brain. “It’s encouraging to see more people keeping track of their exercise habits — by monitoring the number of steps they’re taking, for example,” he stressed.

The researchers further mentioned that one can improve their memory and cognition by even taking short walking breaks throughout the day. The researchers are currently extending this study by examining older adults who are more likely to suffer from age-related mental impairments and by conducting long-term interventions to observe if regular brief workout sessions for several weeks or months can positively impact the brain’s structure and memory function.

To Know More You May Refer To:

Suwabe, K., Byun, K., Hyodo, K., Reagh, Z. M., Roberts, J. M., Matsushita, A., Saotome, K., Ochi, G., Fukuie, T., Suzuki, K., Sankai, Y., Yassa, M. A., & Soya, H. (2018). Rapid stimulation of human dentate gyrus function with acute mild exercise. PNAS. https://www.pnas.org/content/115/41/10487

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