- Membership & Community
Publications & News
- News & Other Media
Meetings & Events
- Experimental Biology
- Related Meetings
- Conference Policies
- Conference Proceedings
- Submit a Conference Proposal
Past APS Conferences
- APS/ASN Control of Renal Function in Health and Disease Conference
- Interface of Mathematical Models and Experimental Biology: Role of the Microvasculature Conference
- Aldosterone and ENaC in Health and Disease: The Kidney and Beyond Conference
- Career & Professional Development
- Meetings & Events
Advocacy & Resources
- Policy & Advocacy
- Teaching & Learning Resources
- Diversity & Inclusion Resources
- About APS
Exercise Gives Older Men a Better Brain Boost
Men have stronger positive correlation between fitness and brain function, study finds
Rockville, Md. (February 13, 2019)—New research suggests that the relationship between physical and brain fitness varies in older adults by virtue of their sex. The study is published ahead of print in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
Cardiorespiratory fitness is the measure of how much—and how well—oxygen is delivered to the muscles during exercise. Fitness level has also been associated with changes in the brain’s nerve-rich tissue, called gray matter, and better cognitive function in later life. Previous studies have also found cardiorespiratory fitness to be related to how the brain functions during periods of rest. Nerve connectivity in the brain during rest changes with age. These changes can negatively affect cognitive function. However, “the neural basis of sex differences in the relationship between fitness and brain function in older adults has not been directly explored,” wrote researchers from York University and McGill University, in Canada.
The research team studied one group of men and one of women, both with an average age of 67. The volunteers self-reported their typical daily physical activity level. The research team recorded the participants’ height, weight, age, sex and resting heart rate to determine their cardiorespiratory fitness. They also administered imaging tests of the brain to record nerve function both within specific brain networks (local efficiency) and among all networks (global efficiency).
The men were found to have higher cardiorespiratory fitness levels than the women. However, the women had higher local network efficiency and lower global network efficiency than the men. This pattern of connectivity was more robust in the women and has been positively associated with executive function, which are skills that contribute to being able to focus, pay attention and manage time. Fitness levels, however, were more strongly associated with improving this brain efficiency pattern for men than women.
“Our findings that [cardiorespiratory fitness] is associated with brain function in a sex-dependent manner underscore the importance of considering sex as a factor when studying associations between exercise and brain health in older adulthood,” the researchers wrote.
Read the full article, “Sex differences in the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and brain function in older adulthood,” published ahead of print in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,000 members and publishes 15 journals with a worldwide readership.
- Exercise, Weight Loss May Induce Metabolism-related Changes to Molecules in Gut
- Hypertension-related Changes May Occur Earlier in Young Women with Family History
- Over-the-counter Antioxidant Cocktail Improved Vascular Function in Certain Patients with Heart Failure
- Exercise Helps Reduce Coronary Artery Stiffening in Heart Failure
- 2019 Nobel Prize: APS Congratulates New Laureates Kaelin, Ratcliffe and Semenza
- Researchers Discover New Pathway for Improving Metabolic Health
- Soft Drinks + Hard Work + Hot Weather = Possible Kidney Disease Risk