Exercise May Protect the Brain From 'Silent Stokes'
|Author: Shelly Nolloth|
Date: Thursday, June 9th, 2011
|Return to Archive|
"Encouraging older people to take part in moderate to intense exercise may be an important strategy for keeping their brains healthy," he said.
For the study, Willey and his fellow researchers compiled information on the exercise habits of 1,238 people who had never had a stroke. About 43 percent said they did no regular exercise; 36 percent did light physical activity, such as golf or walking; and 21 percent said they did moderate to intense exercise, such as tennis, swimming, racquetball, hiking or jogging on a regular basis.
About six years later, researchers scanned the brains of the participants, who by then averaged 70 years old. The scans revealed that 16 percent had experienced silent strokes.
Those who reported engaging in moderate to intense activity were 40 percent less likely to have developed these small brain lesions than those who got no regular exercise, the study found. There was no difference in the likelihood of brain lesions between those who engaged in light exercise and those who got no regular physical activity.
"Of course, light exercise has many other beneficial effects, and these results should not discourage people from doing light exercise," Willey noted.
The findings were reported online June 8 in Neurology.
The study also found that the benefits of regular exercise on brain health did not apply to those who did not have health insurance or were on Medicaid. "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.
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The WKU Board of Regents will meet April 28.
The Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex announced the Next Generation Initiative during a celebration of Autism After 21 Day on April 21.
The WKU Forensics Team won both the National Forensic Association National Tournament championship and the National Forensic Association Lincoln-Douglas Debate Team Sweepstakes national championship.
Shelby Bowden, a WKU Geoscience graduate student from Greenville, South Carolina, has been awarded the prestigious 2017 Graduate Student Research Grant from the Geological Society of America for his master’s thesis project in Ethiopia.
April 21-23 weekend events include SOKY Bookfest, quilt registry, Run for Autism, Science Olympiad, WKU spring football, Cultural Enhancement Series, WKU baseball and softball games, WKU band and choral concerts, and more.
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