Study shows that there is a definite connection between cardio-respiratory fitness, brain activation and executive function in elderly people, according to new research.
Studies done earlier have shown that there is a relationship between behavioural performance and cardio-respiratory fitness in elderly.
Other studies have looked at brain function and cardio-respiratory fitness.
“But linking all three of those has not been quite been done as explicitly as we did in this paper,” said Chelsea Wong from University of Illinois.
The researchers examined fitness level data and brain imaging from 128 adults between the ages of 59-80.
The team found With functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans that far areas of the brain were activated more when performing two simultaneous tasks compared to one task.
The group found the overall relationship between higher executive function and cardio-respiratory fitness levels may be partially explained through activation in an area of the brain called the supplementary motor are and an anterior cingulate cortex.
“It is an important area for higher level functions, such as conflict monitoring, multitasking, and the dual-task processing itself,” Wong said.
The research adds to our growing understanding of the relationship among cognitive and physical activity and brain function.
“It suggests that we can improve our brain health by changing our lifestyle even as we age,” the author said in a paper published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.