Physical Exercise and Brain Function

Some exciting news! Science has now discovered a medical treatment that can improve memory and it was published in the Journal of The American Medical Association.  Let’s have a look at this recent study titled “Effect of Physical Activity on Cognitive Function in Older Adults at Risk for Azheimer Disease.” The authors of the study concluded that a physical activity program of an additional 142 minutes of exercise per week on average modestly improved cognition relative to controls in older adults with subjective and objective memory impairment.


    15 or 20 minutes a day is manageable by most of us senior citizens and the rewards are outstanding. Thank you Dr. Perlmutter.

    • David Perlmutter

      Absolutely. Small investment for a great return!

  • Emmalee

    I have a FitBit to clock my steps, miles, etc. and also do upper body strengthening.

    • David Perlmutter

      I’m sure it’s a helpful tool.

  • margie54

    Thank you for sharing. The senior citizens that I know who stay physically active are just plain more interesting to talk with about anything current that is happening. It seems to want to stimulate seniors to learn more and share what they are learning.

    • David Perlmutter

      Happy to do so. Seems like they are onto something!

  • Stan

    Nice research study. Thanks Dr. Perlmutter for bring this research information to us the busy folks. I will definitely take advantage of this info.

    • David Perlmutter

      Happy to help spread this important information.

  • Pam Mann

    Hi Dr perlmutter. I was eating two boiled eggs every day Monday to Sunday..got my blood test done and my cholesterol went up. .Why is that when eggs are Good for us?

    • TechnoTriticale

      > …. eating two boiled eggs … cholesterol went up.

      Are you losing weight? TC usually rises then.

      What “cholesterol”?
      If you only got the standard lipid panel, TC (total cholesterol) is meaningless, other than at astronomical values. LDL-C is similarly useless, being a synthetic number based on a flawed calculation that is worthless on a low carb diet. About the only thing on the standard panel worth looking at is TG (triglycerides).

      If you got an advanced lipoprotein panel, what are the LDL-P numbers and particle count? There are some genetic conditions that may require dietary modification. An MD who offers only lipid panels, thinks TC is important (and commonly is also a statin pusher) is unlikely to have useful insights on things like ApoE genotype.

    • Caspian

      What TechnoTriticale says + make sure you buy eggs from free range chickens.

    • David Perlmutter

      What’s wrong with having your cholesterol go up?

  • gadrogeek

    This is great although, as an educator, I and most other teachers have known for decades that physical exercise, especially if aerobic, has a great impact on learning (and memory). It is wonderful to know that science is now reinforcing this need. If we could only get people to also take their diet seriously, we may truly have a more healthy future.

    By the way I hope everyone has now seen “The Age of Aluminium” available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsDKP9rXLkg

    This is a must, especially for those “wishing” to prevent Alzheimer’s instead of just managing its symptoms. There is simply too much talk about dementia and its future patients. And please don’t forget about the incredible new research on the potential reversal of this disease, also known by some as Type 3 Diabetes (diabetes of the brain), through the use of coconut oil.


    Thank you, Dr. Perlmutter.

    • Joe Texan

      Thank you for posting that. I watched the whole thing and I had no idea aluminium was that toxic to the human brain. I am planning to retire in a place that has never had a single chemical introduced – the Pacific coast of the Choco junble of Colombia. There has never been human habitation there until recently. check out the website of my neighbor: humpbackturtle.com.

      • Kaulana Keli’i

        Thanks Joe Turtle. I have been thinking the same thing for many years. I am from one of the most beautiful places in the world, Kauai, but sadly Monsanto made it ground zero for their testing have ruined my beloved island where my family has lived since 900 AD. Also for some reason there is much aluminum in the soil naturally in the soil. Since I am part Polynesian I looked toward French Polynesia, and even got my own private island there but am worried about the nuclear tests done. Evidently the current takes the waters from Mururoa to the Australe archipelago, so my island is considered safe. But if I eat a big fish, or a sea bird that fed on a smaller fish near Mururoa, I’m toast. Thank s for giving me a new place to consider. FYI I read that they have tested the breast tissue of women from Papua New Guinea who have never had outside human contact and they found residue of jet fuel. I am afraid we may not be able to avoid all chemicals from man’s disrespect of our mother earth no matter how far we go to isolate ourselves in the world.

        • Elsie

          Kualana, I spent a year in PNG and ( depending where in the country these women were tested) it was occupied by Germans, Japanese and Australians at various times between the wars and during WW1 and WW2. Small airfields abound and saw graveyards of planes abandoned. Missions too use single engined planes to access remote stations. So aviation fuel has been present for many years and in addition empty fuel cans are utilised as cooking implements – boiling water etc. so contamination in my view is no mystery – direct contamination ….
          I am deeply saddened to hear of your island. I can imagine how beautiful and pristine it once was.

  • Liz

    By exercise, does the study mean walking or jogging
    at a fast or medium pace?

  • Dori Childress

    What physical activity are they talking about? I do formal exercises 5-6 days a week. weights 3x a week and stationary bike or walk 6 x a week, but I am active all day long, cooking, cleaning , gardening, moving, I hardly ever sit down until 5 pm at night. So am I over exercising? And does just moving all day count as exercise?

  • mik

    Would doing a daily 20m yoga session count?
    or does it have to be more aerobic?

    • David Perlmutter

      What the study focused on was aerobics specifically. Nothing wrong with yoga, I do it every morning, but you need to get your heart rate up to induce BDNF.

  • Roger Bradford

    My cholesterol is 273 and my LDL-P is 2000. What can I do to lower this or is this level of cholesterol and LDL-P ok?

  • The particular self-described excellent classes has produced options, patterns, as well as does put money for your take-over from the Dark classes. Albeit, the self-described excellent classes admits which no all of which will definitely not recognize qualifications from the so-called poor classes….

  • DougB

    I’ m 63 yo; active – ski patrol. mtn bike, hike, etc. and in pretty good shape. I eat 12-18 eggs a week; 2 for breakfast plus a couple hard boiled during the normal day. I’m doing real well avoiding sugar and processed food; I do get hungry and cheat a little with carbs (1 or 2 slices of organic bread, yogurt) as means to satisfy my hunger in the afternoons so I’m at or above the target of 60g carbs. I eat lots of read meat, chicken, and salads etc for supper. I use coconut oil exclusively.
    My concern is this; I’m 5′-9 and I weighed 162 ( have been 155-160 for decades) when I started in October last year; within a month I dropped to 140#s and seem to be holding there. I’m concerned about losing muscle mass at this weight and I seem to frequently (daily) have a runny nose. I am taking a high quality 50+ vitamin with probiotics, resveratrol, and Omega 3 daily.
    Should I have any concerns with what I have experienced?
    Also, what is the best way to monitor my blood chemistry as you suggest in your book – can I go to a hospital lab and request specific tests or will I need a script from a Dr to do that? Assume insurance will not cover tests unless it comes from a Dr.

  • Kendra

    You realize that people with Alzheimers are likely to “wander off” and forget where they live, right? So the first thing that happens is their families stop taking walks with them because it’s such a huge production to get him to put on his coat, to tell him 100 times why we’re walking and where we’re going…. and to remind him he lives here when we get back, because he can’t remember? I’d love to have some ideas for people living in assisted living to get exercise, because just saying “do it” isn’t as much help as some ideas for doing it. Note that my mom can’t use a dvd player so that’s out too. I think maybe people need to come for an “exercise visit” stay for an hour with someone and get them to do a routine at home, or bring a portable machine with them… then leave, and do that twice a week. That would be a real solution. Maybe expensive, but so is everything about getting older and dying.

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