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Brain Weightlifting: More Weight, Less Memory – Connections Between Physical and Brain Fitness

A recently published study in the journal Neurology shows that people who were tested cognitively at age 11 in 1932 and were tested again almost 70 years later showed better cognitive function if they were in good physical shape. “The important result of the study is that fitness contributes to better cognitive ability in old age,” according to psychologist Ian J. Deary, Ph.D., of the University of Edinburgh. “Thus, two people starting out with the same IQ at age 11, the fitter person at age 79 will, on average, have better cognitive function.”

In a separate study published by The American Academy of Neurology, researchers found the corollary that “a higher BMI was associated with lower cognitive test scores. Results from a test involving word memory recall show people with a BMI of 20 remembered an average of nine out of 16 words, while people with a BMI of 30 remembered an average of seven out of 16 words.” They did not, however, find a correlation between a change in BMI and a change in cognitive performance, according to epidemiologist Maxime Cournot, M.D. of Toulouse University Hospital.

Take-Home Points
Managing obesity in middle-aged adults might help reduce dementia later. John Gunstad, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio says “We’ve known [for many years] that obesity is linked to high blood pressure and other problems. The fact that its impact on brain function may be independent [of other problems] is newer.”

It’s never too late to get your brain or your body in shape.

Physical Fitness – Brain Fitness – Social Fitness … they are all interconnected and essential to your general wellbeing.

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4 Responses

  1. No doubt that carrying around less flab can help your circulation, and that helps the bloodflow to your brain!

  2. Alvaro says:

    Hi “Roly Poly Man”,

    You are right. And may also be interested in a recent post on physical exercise and blood flow.
    http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog/2006/11/07/physical-and-mental-exercise/

    Regards,

    Alvaro

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