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Grantee in the News: David Merrill's research on Physical Activity and Memory in Journal of Alzheimer's Disease

Dec 22
2017

Grantee in the News: David Merrill's research on Physical Activity and Memory in Journal of Alzheimer's Disease View MoreBACK

On December 12, 2017, the preprint edition of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published research co-authored by David Merrill, MD, PhD--a 1999 Glenn/AFAR Scholarship in the Biology of Aging receipient and 2010 and 2011 Centers of Excellence Fellow.

In the study, "Physical Activity and Hippocampal Sub-Region Structure in Older Adults with Memory Complaints," Dr. Merrill and co-authors Expand on previous research that shows physical activity correlates with higher volume in the hippocampus, a small, memory-critical region deep within the brain

As noted in a related story on UCLAHealth.org, the study found:

People who walked more than 4,000 steps each day had a thicker hippocampus and thicker surrounding regions than those who walked less than 4,000 steps. Thickness in these regions correlates with better cognitive function. The more active group also had superior performance in attention and information-processing speed as well as executive functioning, a set of mental skills that allow people to make plans and achieve goals. Lower physical activity correlated with thinner brain structures and lower cognitive functioning.


The original study is available by subscription only, but a related press release can be read here.
 


David Merrill, MD, PhD is a clinical research scientist and psychiatrist at UCLA with a neuroscience background.
 





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