Sedentary habit and decline in memory

This research from PLOS establishes clear evidence between sedentary lifestyle and decline in memory. This is especially insightful since so far, the guidance on health asks us to be active 5 hours a week. However, this research indicates that 5 hours of activity per week is not enough.

Recent research from PLOS (Public Library of Science) has focused our attention on sedentary habits and thinning of the Medial Temporal Lobe, responsible for (recent) memory. This blog captures the importance of activity and memory. Also, you may visit the primary research link from the provided reference.

Atrophy of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) occurs with aging, resulting in impaired episodic memory. Aerobic fitness is positively correlated with total hippocampal volume, a heavily studied memory-critical region within the MTL. More sedentary non-demented individuals have less MTL thickness, spending all day in your desk chair — were linked to changes in a part of the adult brain that’s critical for memory.

Specifically, the new study linked sedentary behavior to thinning of the medial temporal lobe, a brain region involved in the formation of new memories. Sitting for extended periods of time was closely associated with thinning in the medial temporal lobe, regardless of one’s physical activity level. In other words, the study suggests that “sedentary behavior is a significant predictor of thinning of the [medial temporal lobe] and that physical activity, even at high levels, is insufficient to offset the harmful effects of sitting for extended periods,” the researchers said in the statement.

Action Item:  “reducing sedentary behavior may be a possible target for interventions designed to improve brain health in people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Sedentary behavior associated with reduced medial temporal lobe thickness in middle-aged and older adults.

PLOS (Public Library of Science) was founded in 2001 as a nonprofit Open Access publisher, innovator and advocacy organization with a mission to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. PLOS represents the best scientific values. One that focuses on bringing scientists together, to share work as rapidly and as widely as possible, to advance science faster and to benefit society as a whole.

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