Dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we grow older we suffer a decline in mental and physical fitness, which can be made worse by conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. A new study, published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, shows that older people who routinely partake in physical exercise can reverse the signs of aging in the brain, and dancing has the most profound effect.

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Brain Matures Faster Due to Childhood Stress

Stress in early childhood leads to faster maturation of certain brain regions during adolescence. In contrast, stress experienced later in life leads to slower maturation of the adolescent brain. This is the outcome of a long-term study conducted by researchers of Radboud University in which 37 subjects have been monitored for almost 20 years. The findings will be published in Scientific Reports on 15 June.

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Neuroplasticity: You Can Teach An Old Brain New Tricks

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What’s the Big Idea?

Your brain is more flexible than we’ve ever thought before. It changes because it is constantly optimizing itself, reorganizing itself by transferring cognitive abilities from one lobe to the other, particularly as you age. After a stroke, for instance, your brain can reorganize itself to move functions to undamaged areas.

And yet, due to the lifestyles we lead we tend to not make full use of our brains.

Dr. Dennis Charney, dean of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, has studied how the brain responds to dramatic changes in peoples’ environments. In the video below, Charney describes how prisoners of war who were placed in solitary confinement developed unusual cognitive capacities because the only activity they were allowed to do was think. The POWs were essentially exercising their brains. What can we learn from this?

Charney is using this research to conduct psychological therapies that can improve learning and memory, and solve problems with anxiety and depression.

Watch the video here: http://bigthink.com/think-tank/brain-exercise?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#link_time=1484244690

 

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