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Abstract

Cognitive function declines in late adulthood and this is preceded by atrophy of the prefrontal cortex, hippocampal formation, and parietal cortex. Despite significant loss of brain tissue in late adulthood, decline is not ubiquitous across all older adults. In fact, some adults age quite successfully with minimal decline. This suggests that brain deterioration might not be an inevitable consequence of aging. In fact, mounting evidence suggests that participation in regular aerobic exercise is effective at enhancing cognitive and brain health in late adulthood. In this paper we discuss the evidence that cardiorespiratory fitness and aerobic exercise augments cognition by increasing gray matter volume in prefrontal and hippocampal brain regions.

Keywords

Aging brain atrophy exercise 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirk I. Erickson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology Center for the Neural Basis of CognitionUniversity of PittsburghUSA

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