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What burning more calories can do for your brain

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Burning more calories isn't just good for the waistline. Did you know getting up and being active can also help prevent Alzheimer's. Here's what calorie burning can do for preventing Alzheimer's disease.


Findings published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease show people who engage in physical activities like dancing, gardening, swimming or jogging have more gray matter in the brain. The reason that's important is because gray matter is what helps us remember things.

Burning calories preserves gray matter

The study also showed people already diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease have less brain deterioration when they are moving around and burning calories.

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The new study that was conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UCLA is one of the largest to show just how important it is to keep moving as we age.

James T. Becker, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, Pitt School of Medicine explains people get sedentary as they get older. The study that used a mathematical model, combined with brain scans of older adults, showed people age 65 and older that burn more calories have larger areas of gray matter in the frontal, temporal and parietal lobes of the brain.

Active people were also less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease five years later.

Cyrus Raji, M.D., Ph.D who led the study said technology could make it possible to conduct basline imaging studies on people with mild cognitive impairment. ."Rather than wait for memory loss, we might consider putting the patient on an exercise program and then rescan later to see if there are any changes in the brain."