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Fountain of youth? Study finds diet and exercise reverse brain's aging

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Posted at 6:02 AM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-09 08:19:58-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Your New Year’s resolution might be doing you more good than you realize. A just-released study confirmed diet and exercise can make your brain perform at a higher level.

The participants in the study rode a bicycle or walked for about 45 minutes every day and ate a diet designed to lower blood pressure. After six months, doctors noticed improved decision making and brain function.

The study from Duke University focused on adults 65 years old and older. But a neurologist at St. Luke's Hospital Kansas City said the results could apply to any age.

"I always tell people even who have dementia that if they exercise, they're actually feeding their brain. So if they feed their brain, then they can be more proactive. They have to be in charge of their own condition," Dr. Steven Arkin said.

The study showed most participants reversed their brain's age by nine years, meaning they were making decisions with the same capability of previous years.

"What it means is you're sharper," Arkin said. "You're actually able to make decisions more readily and more effectively. What they found out is patients seemed to approach situations in a totally different way. That they were more proactive."

Arkin stopped short of calling the study a fountain of youth. He pointed out your brain can't generate new brain cells, so it's important to exercise and care for the cells you have.