Saturday, 07 Mar, 2009 Health & Fitness
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Regular Physical Exercises Improve Memory

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Once the years go by, memory usually gets worse, that's why one has to ask for other people's help. Scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Pittsburgh have determined that old people can fight for their future, can stimulate the growth of brain's structures and, in consequence, can improve certain types of memory, with the help of the simplest of the methods.

A lot of researches have shown that the bigger the dimensions of the hippocampus are, the more developed one's dimensional memory is. It happens so because this region of the brain is responsible for the orientation in space. Besides, it is known that, if it is removed, man loses the ability of memorizing what happens at the respective moment (long-term memory can still be kept).

Other researches showed that taxi-cab drivers have larger dimensions of the hippocampus than common people, and in students, in the time of their preparations for the most important exams, this area of the brain has an increased volume.

Along with man's ageing hippocampus is getting smaller, a number of significant changes for the worse in memory's activity and cognitive abilities appear. Of course, the speed of this process is different.

American scientists also established that the dimensions of the hippocampus in mice can be significantly increased by submitting them to different physical exercises. This is where another question comes up: what about human beings?

In order to find the answer to this question, they decided to make a study on 165 old people (109 of them being women), aged from 59 to 81.

With the help of a study based on magnetic resonance, researchers have made a complete analysis of the left and right halves of the hippocampus. They also asked the participants in the experiment to pass through tests allowing them to make a conclusion about their abilities.

It turned out that old people who lead an active lifestyle with a lot of aerobic physical efforts have a 40 percent incresed level of orientation in space, which also correlates with the dimensions of their hippocampus.

The results of the research were published in the journal "Hippocampus".

"The better physical shape they were in, the more tissues were in the hippocampus and the better their space memory functioned", concluded the professor Arthur Kramer in the press-release of the university.

Scientists consider that they have found the proof of the relation between lifestyle and the changes of cognitive abilities in older age. "This means that if one doesn’t avoid making regular physical efforts, the brain areas necessary for a complete and healthy life continue developing and memorizing the information", added the professor Kirk Erickson.

Posted by summer_rain

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