Exercising may stop brain shrinkage

Exercising in your 70s may stop your brain from shrinking and showing the signs of ageing linked to dementia, say experts from Edinburgh University. Brain scans of 638 people past the age of retirement showed those who were most physically active had less brain shrinkage over a 3 year period.

The exercise did not have to be strenuous – going for a walk several times a week sufficed. But giving the mind a workout by doing a tricky crossword had little impact. No real brain-size benefit was found from mentally challenging activities such as reading a book, or other pastimes such as socialising with friends and family.

The research re-emphasises that it is never too late to benefit from exercise.

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