A new study has found that physical activity is linked to a healthier brain (Fox FAU, et.al. 2022). The study, which examined data from over 2,500 participants using MRI and other tools, found that physical activity dose and intensity were independently associated with larger brain volumes, gray matter density, and cortical thickness of several brain regions.
The study also found that the effects of physical activity on brain volume were most pronounced at low physical activity quantities and differed between men and women and across age. The strongest effects of physical activity were observed in motor regions and cortical regions enriched for genes involved in mitochondrial respiration. These findings suggest that physical activity may be critical in the prevention of age-associated brain atrophy and neurodegenerative diseases.
Fabienne A U Fox, Kersten Diers, Hweeling Lee, Andreas Mayr, Martin Reuter, Monique M B Breteler, N Ahmad Aziz. Association Between Accelerometer-Derived Physical Activity Measurements and Brain Structure: A Population-Based Cohort Study. Neurology. 2022 Sep 13;99(11):e1202-e1215.