Walking and running increase the brain’s hippocampal volume preventing Alzheimer’s and pulmonary diseases

(dailyRx News) Aerobic exercise can promote healthy weight loss and bone health. New research shows that it could also help maintain brain volume and fight cognitive decline.

Women between 70 and 80 years old participated in a study that measured the effects of exercise on the volume of the hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with memory.

The researchers found that aerobic exercise resulted in increased hippocampus volume.

Aerobic exercise — running, for example — is meant to improve cardiovascular fitness.

Women assigned to resistance training and to balance and tone exercises did not show similar increases.

Read more: http://www.dailyrx.com/aerobic-training-tied-significant-increase-hippocampal-volume#ixzz2yUn9LfsV


Hippocampal atrophy is frequently observed on magnetic resonance images from patients with Alzheimer’s disease and persons with mild cognitive impairment. Even in asymptomatic elderly, a small hippocampal volume on magnetic resonance imaging is a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease. However, not everyone with a small hippocampus develops dementia. With the increased interest in the use of sequential magnetic resonance images as potential surrogate biomarkers of the disease process, it has also been shown that the rate of hippocampal atrophy is higher in persons with Alzheimer’s disease compared to those with mild cognitive impairment and the healthy elderly. Whether a higher rate of hippocampal atrophy also predicts Alzheimer’s disease or subtle cognitive decline in non-demented elderly is unknown.


We examine these associations in a group of 518 elderly (age 60–90 years, 50% female), taken from the population-based Rotterdam Scan Study. A magnetic resonance imaging examination was performed at baseline in 1995–96 that was repeated in 1999–2000 (in 244 persons) and in 2006 (in 185 persons). Using automated segmentation procedures, we assessed hippocampal volumes on all magnetic resonance imaging scans. All persons were free of dementia at baseline and followed over time for cognitive decline and incident dementia.

Source: http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/133/4/1163.abstract


The unique alterations of hippocampus and cognitive impairment in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Jing Li and Guang-He Fei*

Pulmonary Department, First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui 230022, China

Respiratory Research 2013, 14:140  doi:10.1186/1465-9921-14-140

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:http://respiratory-research.com/content/14/1/140

© 2013 Li and Fei; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.



Cognitive impairment has been found in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. However, the structural alteration of the brain and underlying mechanisms are poorly understood.


Thirty-seven mild-to-moderate COPD patients, forty-eight severe COPD patients, and thirty-one control subjects were recruited for cognitive test and neuroimaging studies. Serum levels of S100B,pulmonary function and arterial blood gas levels were also evaluated in each subject.


The hippocampal volume was significantly smaller in COPD patients compared to the control group. It is positively correlated with a mini mental state examination (MMSE) score, SaO2 in mild-to-moderate COPD patients, the levels of PaO2 in both mild-to-moderate and severe COPD patients. Higher S100B concentrations were observed in mild-to-moderate COPD patients, while the highest S100B level was found in severe COPD patients when compared to the control subjects. S100B levels are negatively associated with MMSE in both mild-to-moderate and severe COPD patients and also negatively associated with the hippocampal volume in the total COPD patients.


Hippocampal atrophy based on quantitative assessment by magnetic resonance imaging does occur in COPD patients, which may be associated with cognitive dysfunction and the most prevalent mechanism accountable for hippocampal atrophy is chronic hypoxemia in COPD. Higher serum S100B levels may be peripheral biochemical marker for cognitive impairment in COPD.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a primary airway inflammatory disease characterized by irreversible airflow limitation which results in hypoxemia and hypercapnia. Meanwhile, it is also realized as a complex multi-component disorder. Cognitive impairment has been found as one of the important extrapulmonary manifestation in patients with COPD. In our previous study, we also found that cognitive dysfunction is associated with the classification of disease severity. However, whether some structural brain abnormalities are associated with poor cognitive performances in COPD patients has not been fully explored.


The hippocampus which is located inside the medial temporal lobe is a major component of the brain. It contains two main interlocking parts (Ammon’s horn and the dentate gyrus) and four histological divisions (cornu ammonis 1 (CA1), CA2, CA3 and CA4). It plays a key role in cognitive function and is particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of hypoxemia. As morphologic evidence, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies demonstrated that hippocampal atrophy is a diagnostic biomarker for cognitive impairment.


Lower hippocampal volume detected by MRI was a consistent finding in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease. To our knowledge, quantitative assessment of the hippocampal region in COPD patients has not yet been carried out, although there may be a pattern of cognitive impairment specific to COPD patients. Therefore, the question arises as to whether detectable structural changes of hippocampal volume occur in COPD patients.

S100B, a member of the S100 protein family, is a calcium-binding protein. It is a brain derived protein implicated in CNS function generally and the hippocampus in particular. Increased S100B levels are observed in patients suffering from chronic neurodegenerative disorders such Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, it is also studied as a peripheral biochemical marker for cognitive ability. Previous studies showed that serum S100B levels were negatively correlated with MMSE scores. However, little data exists with regards to this biomarker and cognitive performances in COPD patients.

In this study, we evaluated the hippocampal volumes and cognitive performances in COPD patients at different stages. In order to explore the possible mechanisms involved in this pathology, we also investigated the associations between the hippocampal volume, pulmonary function parameters and arterial blood gases in COPD patients.


Connie’s comments: You are creating new brain cells each time you train your limbs to move from one point to another.

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connie dello buono

Health educator, author and enterpreneur motherhealth@gmail.com or conniedbuono@gmail.com ; cell 408-854-1883 Helping families in the bay area by providing compassionate and live-in caregivers for homebound bay area seniors. Blogs at www.clubalthea.com Currently writing a self help and self cure ebook to help transform others in their journey to wellness, Healing within, transform inside and out. This is a compilation of topics Connie answered at quora.com and posts in this site.

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