New study shows small amounts of exercise can prevent memory loss

Alan Wu

August 10, 2011

No matter how you look at it, exercise improves health. Older adults can especially reap the benefits of physical activity. Many studies have been conducted to support this idea, which show that exercise goes a long way to help prevent debilitating diseases, such as dementia and heart problems. It can also improve mobility, which will in turn lower the risk of falls and injury. However, a medical alert system is still a good idea for seniors, in case anything should happen.

Scientists at the University of Colorado recently found further evidence to support the strong case that exercise is beneficial for healthy aging.

"Our research shows that a small amount of physical exercise by late middle-aged rats profoundly protects against exaggerated inflammation in the brain and long-lasting memory impairments that follow a serious bacterial infection," said Ruth Barrientos, the lead researcher.

The rats in the study had been infected with E. coli, and then experienced a weakening of the hippocampus, the area of the brain that is in charge of memory and learning. Small amounts of exercise improved the brain function of these rats and put a stop to the inflammation, which is a good sign that the same benefits will be prevalent in humans.