Does exercise affect the brain's aging process? New research aims to find out

May 23, 2017

Does exercise affect the brain's aging process? New research aims to find out

Science Daily

Most people know that regular exercise can keep a body looking and feeling young.

What about the brain?

"There has been a wealth of evidence from past studies that physical activity has beneficial effects on neurocognitive functions, such as memory and regulatory control," says IHPI member, Mark Peterson, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Michigan Medicine. "Essentially, those studies show that the physical activity alters the brain's aging trajectories to preserve cognitive health."

Peterson and colleagues were recently awarded a two-year grant from the University of Michigan's Exercise & Sport Science Initiative to further examine the role physical activity plays on the brain. The grant is one of four recently awarded by the U-M initiative to study physical activity.

A shortage of comprehensive analyses propelled the new effort.

"Those previous studies did not examine the effects in a large cohort," Peterson says. "We're hoping this study fills that knowledge gap and can validate and extend the previous claims."

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