Exercise and Brain Health: Untangling the Links

Consistent engagement in physical activity forms a key part of the recipe for long-term cognitive health. Although lifestyle modifications like exercise do not in isolation prevent diseases like Alzheimer disease (AD), there is broad consensus that interventions in these areas can support brain health overall and are likely to augment resilience (i.e., coping) against a variety of processes that can decay cognitive functioning. We have made significant advances in understanding the benefits of exercise and fitness on brain structure in normal aging1 and AD,2 but the pathways mediating this remain unclear.

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