Exercise Boosts Cognitive Function In Older Adults, New Study Confirms

Exercise Boosts Cognitive Function In Older Adults, New Study Confirms

You might have noticed you feel mentally sharper and find it easier to focus if you’re working out regularly.

There’s already lots of evidence to support the link between exercise and brain functioning.

We know it increases your volume of grey and white matter, stimulates blood flow to the brain, and enhances memory.

Now, a new study has found a memory biomarker that was noticeably increased in older adults after they’d completed a 26-week training programme.

The biomarker’s called myokine Cathepsin B (CTSB). It’s an enzyme that gets secreted by muscles into the bloodstream after you exercise and is associated with keeping the area of the brain related to memory healthy.

Elderly people who have some form of cognitive impairment tend to show lower CTSB levels.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin divided participants, whose average age was 65, into two groups.

The first group maintained their usual levels of physical activity, while the second group did 26 weeks of regular treadmill running.

Results showed the treadmill group’s CTSB levels were increased and their verbal learning and memory improved too.

Henriette van Praag, the author of the study, said: "Human studies often utilize expensive and low throughput brain imaging analyses that are not practical for large population-wide studies.

“Systemic biomarkers that can measure the effect of exercise interventions on Alzheimer's-related outcomes quickly and at low-cost could be used to inform disease progression and to develop novel therapeutic targets.

"The positive association between CTSB and cognition, and the substantial modulation of lipid metabolites implicated in dementia, support the beneficial effects of exercise training on brain function and brain health in asymptomatic individuals at risk for Alzheimer's disease.”

So we now have even more reason to keep training into old age.