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Is exercise really good for the brain?

Posted Thursday, February 8, 2018 by Tyler Goldberg-Hoss

Recently, the American Academy of Neurology recommended for the first time that their members should recommend regular exercise to patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

However, another study looking at the possible benefits of exercise on the brain found that there was not enough empirical support for that claim.

So who is right?

At this point, it seems that regular exercise is good for lots of other things, including cardiovascular health. So you should exercise in any event. And even if exercise doesn’t directly positively affect the brain, at least indirectly it does. Consider, if you have a healthy heart and good blood flow in the body, that means good blood flow to the brain. One would think that would be better than poor flow and poor brain perfusion.

And there is little downside to recommending exercise in most cases – it can’t hurt, right?

More than anything, this apparent conflict in the medical community has as much to do about how much proof one needs to make such a claim. My guess is neurologists are not going to be faulted for suggesting exercise, whether or not it is the miracle cure for cognitive decline.

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