Exercising in the elderly protects the brain and cognition

People who get regular physical exercise during aging have better brain health and better cognitive abilities, and prevent the damaging effects of neuropathological lesions, according to a study.

Exercising in the elderly protects the brain and cognition

Physical exercise is a great ally of good physical, mental and emotional health at any time in life, and a study carried out by researchers from the CIBER for Mental Health (CIBERSAM) and the University of the Basque Country (UPV/ EHU) has found that staying active during aging protects brain health and cognitive abilities.

Specifically, the research has found evidence that physical exercise during old age increases synaptic density, that is, the space that exists in the gray matter of the brain and that is where neuronal connections take place. However, the results, which have been published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, emphasized that to maintain these benefits it is important to be constant with the practice of physical activity.

The study analyzed 404 elderly people whose physical activity was monitored using smart watches or bracelets for a period of 3.5 years before death, and after their death samples were collected from 12 brain areas responsible for abilities. cognitive and psychomotor, in order to analyze eight synaptic proteins –responsible for the exchange of information between neurons– to determine if there was any neuropathology associated with aging.

Preventive and therapeutic strategies to reduce sedentary lifestyle

The findings showed that higher rates of daily physical activity were related to higher quantity and functionality of all the synaptic proteins analyzed. This association was especially notable in brain regions responsible for motor control, such as the caudate nucleus and putamen.

The beneficial effects of exercise on the brain are for everyone, regardless of their health status, but to maintain them you must be constant in your practice

In addition, the beneficial effects were found to be highly volatile, so that participants who had a high physical routine, but then did not continue with that habit in the last two years of life, showed synaptic densities very similar to those who had had a high physical routine. a more sedentary attitude.

Another great finding of the work was that the relationship between physical exercise and synaptic density was independent of the neuropathological load found in the same brain areas and the possible presence of pathologies that affect the motor skills of older people.

Therefore, Alfredo Ramos-Miguel, one of the authors of the research, highlights that “this study shows, for the first time in humans, that exercising physically, even in advanced ages, contributes either to promoting synaptogenesis processes, or else to increase synaptic resilience against the deleterious effects of neuropathological lesions”.

The conclusions reached by the study indicate that exercising physically, even in the case of older adults, contributes to promoting synaptogenesis or increasing synaptic resilience against the damaging effects of neuropathological lesions, as explained by the experts, who advise that “public health systems should redouble efforts to promote preventive and therapeutic strategies aimed at reducing sedentary lifestyles among the elderly population.”


Previous articleAerobic exercise protects the elderly from memory loss
Next articleThey find the possible cause for which the sense of smell is lost in Alzheimer’s


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here