More than 5 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer's disease, and a large population of aging baby boomers could potentially triple that number in the coming decades. As this public health crisis escalates, researchers are working fervently to better understand the disease and who is most at risk for developing it, as well as to find ways to detect it earlier and to slow or halt its progress. Increasingly important in all of these efforts are brain imaging and fluid biomarkers.
Mounting scientific evidence shows that exercise is good not only for our bodies, but for our brains. Yet, exactly why physical activity benefits the brain is not well understood.
In a new article published in the journal Trends in Neurosciences, University of Arizona researchers suggest that the link between exercise and the brain is a product of our evolutionary history and our past as hunter-gatherers.
Research by MRI scans reveal that running may affect the structure and function of the brain in ways similar to complex tasks like playing a musical instrument. UA running expert David Raichlen, an associate professor of anthropology, co-designed the study with UA psychology professor Gene Alexander, who studies brain aging and Alzheimer's disease as a member of the UA's Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute.
Cognitive decline is a normal part of aging, but as the world’s population of older adults grows, researchers are looking at ways to prevent it. The University of Arizona, the University of Florida and the University of Miami have been awarded a five-year, $5.7 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to study whether a combination of computer-based cognitive training exercises and direct electrical stimulation to the brain can help improve cognitive functioning in older adults. Dr.