Climbing stairs can help brain stay young

Climbing stairs can help brain stay young

Looking at their unbearable suffering, victims of Alzheimer’s disease would agree with Mark Twain’s statement – “Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” More so, because doctors are yet to stumble upon any evidence-based treatment for complete recovery from Alzheimer’s disease. Slowly and gradually, the disease distorts the mind unlike other diseases that affect the body.

More time in school means more stairs

A recent study by the Concordia University, Canada suggested that climbing up the stairs decreases the rate of brain aging and helps in staying fit. The scientists suggested that those who have spent more time in school have younger brains as they are assumed to have climbed more flights of stairs.

In the study, titled “Differences between chronological and brain age are related to education and self-reported physical activity,” the researchers examined and evaluated the gray matter of the brains of 331 participants aged 19-79 with the help of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Gray matter is a good indicator of brain aging as deterioration in gray matter is brought about by shrinking of the neurons in the brain and consequently their loss. The scientists contrasted the brain volume with the number of stairs climbed by the respondents and the number of years devoted to education.

In the study, published online in the journal Neurobiology of Aging in February 2016, the scientists observed a decrease in the brain age by 0.95 year for every year of receipt of education and a lessening by 0.58 year for each daily flight of stairs taken, subject to the extent of stairs between two floors in a building.

Stressing on the findings and its implications, co-author of the study and a scientist at Concordia’s Perform Centre Jason Steffener said, “This study shows that education and physical activity affect the difference between a physiological prediction of age and chronological age, and that people can actively do something to help their brains stay young.”

Previous studies have pointed out that physical activity has a positive effect on the mind, which further suggests that people resorting more to using stairs may have younger brains.

Older adults can take stairs at least once a day

The researchers had a suggestion for older adults as well. Steffener said, “In comparison to many other forms of physical activity, taking the stairs is something that most of the older adults can and already do at least once a day, unlike vigorous forms of physical activity.”

Though the study associates the continued activity of climbing up the stairs with the presence of younger brains and the fact that an educated mind implies a youthful brain, the researchers could not identify the factor as to what slows down aging of brains in people climbing more stairs.

Path to recovery

As many as 5.1 million Americans are affected by AD in the United States in a year, which is the most common cause of dementia. Ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in America, scientists are constantly on the lookout for an innovative treatment that can check the development and increasing prevalence of the disorder.

If you or your loved one is struggling with any kind of mental illness, including Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you may get in touch with the Sovereign Mental Health Services to know about various mental health centers. Chat online with one of our experts today or call at the 24/7 helpline number 866-954-0529 for further information about mental health facilities.

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