Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brief exercise immediately enhances memory: Results apply to older adults both with and without cognitive deficits

Date:
November 27, 2012
Source:
University of California - Irvine
Summary:
A short burst of moderate exercise enhances the consolidation of memories in both healthy older adults and those with mild cognitive impairment, scientists have discovered.

A short burst of moderate exercise enhances the consolidation of memories in both healthy older adults and those with mild cognitive impairment, scientists with UC Irvine's Center for the Neurobiology of Learning & Memory have discovered.

Most research has focused on the benefits of a long-term exercise program on overall health and cognitive function with age. But the UCI work is the first to examine the immediate effects of a brief bout of exercise on memory.

In their study, post-doctoral researcher Sabrina Segal and neurobiologists Carl Cotman and Lawrence Cahill had people 50 to 85 years old with and without memory deficits view pleasant images -- such as photos of nature and animals -- and then exercise on a stationary bicycle for six minutes at 70 percent of their maximum capacity immediately afterward.

One hour later, the participants were given a surprise recall test on the previously viewed images. Results showed a striking enhancement of memory by exercise in both the healthy and cognitively impaired adults, compared with subjects who did not ride the bike.

"We found that a single, short instance of moderately intense exercise particularly improved memory in individuals with memory deficits," Segal said. "Because of its implications and the need to better understand the mechanism by which exercise may enhance memory, we're following up this study with an investigation of potential underlying biological factors."

She believes the improved memory may be related to the exercise-induced release of norepinephrine, a chemical messenger in the brain known to play a strong role in memory modulation. This hypothesis is based on previous work demonstrating that increasing norepinephrine through pharmacological manipulation sharpens memory and that blocking norepinephrine impairs memory.

In the more recent research, Segal and her colleagues discovered that levels of salivary alpha amylase, a biomarker that reflects norepinephrine activity in the brain, significantly increased in participants after exercise. This correlation was especially strong in people with memory impairment.

"The current findings offer a natural and relatively safe alternative to pharmacological interventions for memory enhancement in healthy older individuals as well as those who suffer from cognitive deficits," Segal noted. "With a growing population of the aged, the need for improvement of quality of life and prevention of mental decline is more important than ever before."

Study results appear in the November issue (Volume 32, Number 4) of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. UCI's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and the National Institute of Mental Health (grant number 575082), a division of the National Institutes of Health, supported the research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sabrina K Segal, Carl W Cotman, Lawrence F Cahill. Exercise-Induced Noradrenergic Activation Enhances Memory Consolidation in Both Normal Aging and Patients with Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 2012 DOI: 10.3233/JAD-2012-121078

Cite This Page:

University of California - Irvine. "Brief exercise immediately enhances memory: Results apply to older adults both with and without cognitive deficits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127094315.htm>.
University of California - Irvine. (2012, November 27). Brief exercise immediately enhances memory: Results apply to older adults both with and without cognitive deficits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127094315.htm
University of California - Irvine. "Brief exercise immediately enhances memory: Results apply to older adults both with and without cognitive deficits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127094315.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins