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Brain Sci. 2012 Nov 29;2(4):684-708. doi: 10.3390/brainsci2040684.

Physical activity, cognitive function, and brain health: what is the role of exercise training in the prevention of dementia?

Author information

1
Department of Preventive Cardiology, Hartford Hospital, 80 Seymour Street, Hartford, CT 06102, USA. sgregory@harthosp.org.
2
Department of Preventive Cardiology, Hartford Hospital, 80 Seymour Street, Hartford, CT 06102, USA. bparker03@harthosp.org.
3
Department of Preventive Cardiology, Hartford Hospital, 80 Seymour Street, Hartford, CT 06102, USA. pthomps@harthosp.org.

Abstract

Tor preventive measures are necessary to attenuate the increased economic and social burden of dementia. This review will focus on the potential for physical activity and exercise training to promote brain health and improve cognitive function via neurophysiological changes. We will review pertinent animal and human research examining the effects of physical activity on cognitive function and neurophysiology. We will discuss cross-sectional and longitudinal studies addressing the relationship between neurocognitive health and cardiorespiratory fitness or habitual activity level. We will then present and discuss longitudinal investigations examining the effects of exercise training on cognitive function and neurophysiology. We will conclude by summarizing our current understanding of the relationship between physical activity and brain health, and present areas for future research given the current gaps in our understanding of this issue.

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