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Running in youth won’t prevent amnesia in old age, new study finds

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Washington: Incorporating jogging as a form of exercise during youth may reduce memory problems in old age, researchers have found in a new study. The research team said that running helps maintain episodic memory encoding.

Episodic memory is a type of long-term memory that involves remembering past experiences with respect to time, place, and associated emotions. Published in the journal Neuro, researchers from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and Mexico’s Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVSTAV) said the study provided unique insight into the benefits of exercise. It motivates adults especially youth to stay healthy. In their study, the team of researchers studied the effects of long-term exercise on the network of hippocampal neurons formed in young adult rats.

The study’s lead author, Carmen Weaver, said that daily running for longer periods of time improved the ability to differentiate between mostly similar events and stimuli. This reduces the problem of weakening of memory in old age. Emphasizing the relevance of daily exercise, Weaver says studies have found that chronic exercise, starting in adolescence and continuing into adulthood, helps maintain our memory as we age.