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Exercise Associated with Improved Semantic Memory


Semantic memory is the memory of the meanings of words and facts about the world. Semantic memory deteriorates with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. A new study suggests that exercise may help improve semantic memory in healthy older adults.





Twenty-six healthy individuals aged between 55 and 85 participated in the study. They performed a memory task related to semantic memory on two separate occasions.  The first test was conducted 30 minutes after a session of moderate exercise on an exercise bike. The second test was conducted on a different day after a period of rest.





The researchers found that exercise was associated with significantly greater semantic memory activation in the middle frontal, inferior temporal, middle temporal, and fusiform gyri portions of the brain. There was also significantly greater activation in the bilateral hippocampus area of the brain following exercise.





Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Maryland conducted the analysis. It was published online ahead of print on April 25, 2019 in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.


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