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Moderate to Intense Exercise May Protect the Brain

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Moderate to Intense Exercise May Protect the Brain

Post  Admin on Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:49 am

Moderate to Intense Exercise May Protect the Brain

Older people who regularly exercise at a moderate to intense level may be less likely to develop the small brain lesions, sometimes referred to as “silent strokes,” that are the first sign of cerebrovascular disease, according to a new study published in the June 8, 2011, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).

The study involved 1,238 people who had never had a stroke. Participants completed a questionnaire about how often and how intensely they exercised at the beginning of the study and then had MRI scans of their brains an average of six years later, when they were an average of 70 years old.
The brain scans showed that 197 of the participants, or 16 percent, had small brain lesions, or infarcts, called silent strokes.
People who engaged in moderate to intense exercise were 40 percent less likely to have the silent strokes than people who did no regular exercise. The results remained the same after the researchers took into account other vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.
There was no difference between those who engaged in light exercise and those who did not exercise.

The study also showed that the benefit of moderate to intense exercise on brain health was not apparent for people with Medicaid or no health insurance. “It may be that the overall life difficulties for people with no insurance or on Medicaid lessens the protective effect of regular exercise,” Willey said.

Click here for more details: American Academy of Neurology


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