Structural deterioration of the brain associated with old age can be eased by long-term aerobic exercise starting in mid-life, according to research published in PLOS Biology.

Frailty and cognitive decline tend to accompany aging, and exercise is known to combat them. How this works is not completely understood, but the development of dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease has been linked with physical inactivity.

The risk of dementia increases with age. Age-related cognitive deficits result partly from changes in neuronal function, but also correlate with deficiencies in the blood supply to the brain and with low-level inflammation.

This article originally appeared on Psychiatry Advisor

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