September 2019 Newsletter
Exercise benefits brains, changes blood flow in older adults
Exercise training alters brain blood flow and improves cognitive performance in older adults, though not in the way you might think. A new study published by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease showed that exercise was associated with improved brain function in a group of adults diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and a decrease in the blood flow in key brain regions.
Loneliness is bad for brains
Mice yanked out of their community and held in solitary isolation show signs of brain damage. After a month of being alone, the mice had smaller nerve cells in certain parts of the brain. It’s not known whether similar damage happens in the brains of isolated humans. If so, the results have implications for the health of people who spend much of their time alone, including the estimated tens of thousands of inmates in solitary confinement in the United States and elderly people in institutionalized care facilities.
When does intelligence peak?
When does cognitive functioning peak? As we get older, we certainly feel as though our intelligence is rapidly declining. However, the nitty gritty research on the topic suggests some really interesting nuance. As a recent paper notes, “Not only is there no age at which humans are performing at peak on all cognitive tasks, there may not be an age at which humans perform at peak on most cognitive tasks.”