Midlife Fitness and Brain Volume Changes in Late Adulthood


As per the findings of the research at the US National Institute on Aging (Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging), greater fitness in midlife may result to a better brain health after 20 years on average.

In a period of 10 years, starting 1994, the researchers studied 146 adults, average age 69, with no previous neurological or heart problems. They checked for cardiorespiratory fitness and Brain volume.

Mathematical models were used to calculate fitness level when the participants were of age 50. Those who were fitter back at the age were observed to have a greater volume in three parts of the brain: temporal gyrus, perineal cortex and white matter, which help in memorizing better, perception and fight Alzheimer’s disease.

However, scientists are not sure if the results will be similar for larger samples, as healthier and better educated people may volunteer; secondly, the cardiorespiratory fitness gained by individuals with same exercise may vary. Scientists are not even sure how cognitive function varies with fitness.

Earlier studies have related cardiorespiratory fitness for middle aged healthy concerns. They relate to improved memory for specific events, planning as well as memorizing names. More research with larger samples is required to better understand the cause and effects of this research. Never the less, the research has added to the field.