A new follow-up study to previously published work, by Dr. Michael Yassa and collaborators Kazuya Suwabe, Kyeongho Byun and Professor Hideaki Soya at the University of Tsukuba, examined the effects of a ten-minute period of exercise on the connectivity in the brain using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). They found that a single bout of moderate exertion was enough to not only improve performance on memory tests, but yield a significant increase to the strength of the connectivity between the hippocampus and the cortex, two brain structures heavily implicated in creating and retrieving memories.
Although the lasting power of these enhancements remains to be investigated, these results lend a sense of optimism to the future of lifestyle treatments for memory impairments, such as Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.
The Translational Neurobiology Lab has received much media attention for these findings from news sources including The Guardian, Psychology Today, and MSN Health News. You can read the UC Irvine press release here and the original PNAS paper can be found here.