Dementia cases are expected to double every 20 years, as the population ages. Yet the mainstream “experts” still don’t have a single, viable answer to help stem the tide.
(Don’t be fooled by their new Alzheimer’s disease [AD] drug, either. As I recently reported, it causes brain swelling, costs $54,000 a year, and could bankrupt Medicare!)
So, it’s absolutely shocking that no one’s talking about what might be the most powerful tool we have to fight dementia and AD.
According to a new study, it’s one that can IMPROVE memory and even REVERSE shrinkage in an area of the brain MOST VULNERABLE to aging and decline, in as little as SIX MONTHS! And best of all, it’s totally FREE.
Researchers assess impact of walking, dancing, and stretching on the brain
Neuroscientists with Colorado State University recruited nearly 180 sedentary, but healthy, men and women who were between 60 and 80 years of age. Then, they randomly divided the participants into three groups.
The first group walked for about 40 minutes, three times a week, for six months. (Note: their weekly total walking time was 120 minutes—which, as you know, is near the “magic number” I often recommend for gaining optimal health benefits.)
The second group took a dance class that got progressively more challenging over six months.
And the third group participated in a supervised program of stretching and balance training (designed NOT to increase heart rate) three times a week for six months, to serve as a control.
At the study’s outset and at the end of six months, all the participants underwent cognitive testing, to assess memory and processing speed, as well as cardiorespiratory testing. They also underwent two sets of MRI brain scans to allow the researchers to observe any changes in the brain’s “white matter” between the study’s outset and after six months of intervention.
Of course, white matter is located deep within the brain. And it contains nerve fibers (called axons) that basically act as the brain’s “wiring,” helping to speed transmission of signals and information.
It’s also an area of the brain most vulnerable to aging and decline. In fact, aging (or damage) to white matter can decrease the ability of nerve signals to travel from one brain region to the other, which significantly impairs cognitive function.
In fact, considering how important white matter is to cognition, it’s interesting that it has received FAR LESS attention from the scientific world compared to “grey matter” (which contains neurons). We can probably attribute some of this neglect to the (wrongful) assumption that white matter is “static” (or “fixed” at childhood)…and that damage to it could not be reversed.
However, when the researchers in this new study started looking at the MRI results after six months, they knew they had to rethink that old white matter myth…
White matter CAN be repaired and refreshed
When the researchers checked back on the participants after six months, the walkers and dancers (but not the stretching group) exhibited improved cardiovascular fitness, as expected.
In addition, the MRI brain scans showed that the walkers and dancers increased their white matter volume after six months. Especially in areas of the brain known as the corpus callosum and cingulum. These two areas conduct important cognitive functions, such as storing and retrieving memories, planning, reasoning, and problem solving.
Plus, the walking group alone performed better on memory and cognitive testing after six months! Specifically, they improved their episodic memory and could more readily recall memories from their lifetimes.
By comparison, in the MRI scans, the stretching group showed continued thinning and fraying of axons in key areas of white matter in the brain. And they performed worse on the cognitive testing.
In the end, we can safely conclude that engaging in some moderate exercise reverses age-related decline in the brain’s structure and improves cognitive function within just six months. And walking seems to work even better than taking a dance class—which falls right in line with the type of exercise I routinely recommend.
That’s all rather astounding. Especially considering the billions of dollars wasted by the government on two mammoth “Decades of the Brain” research projects.
Now, before I go, I want to make just one more important point…
Why outside exercise is better
The participants in the study gained significant brain benefits by simply walking on a treadmill. But walking is a healthy exercise you can enjoy just about anywhere!
And research shows it’s even better to take your workouts outside, where you can get the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of being out in Nature.
Plus, when you walk outside on natural surfaces, it’s far easier on your joints…and more challenging for your brain and muscles, and more interesting for you.
Exercising outside also exposes you to sunlight, which helps your body produce the vitamin D it needs for virtually every metabolic process and function. In addition, studies show that working out in Nature lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to many chronic diseases.
So, this fall, as you look for ways to stay active during the week, I encourage you to step outside and take a walk through the woods or a local park. Clearly, it’s one of the very best tools we have for warding off a long list of diseases, including memory decline!
P.S. For a comprehensive, all-natural plan to help protect and restore brain health and fight memory loss, I encourage you to check out my Complete Alzheimer’s Fighting Protocol. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here now!
“White matter plasticity in healthy older adults: The effects of aerobic exercise.” NeuroImage, 2021; 239(118305). doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118305.