Keeping Mentally Sharp in Old Age May Be Related to Maintaining Fitness

Jul 6, 2018

A new study has found that the combination of low muscle mass and high fat mass in older adults may be an important predictor in cognitive function later in life. 

Loosing muscle mass is a natural part of aging, as is gaining some weight. But both conditions also have negative impacts on overall health and cognitive function and together they may have a greater threat – surpassing individual impact, according to a new study published today in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging.

Researchers used data from a series of aging and memory studies of around 350 participants with an average age of 69. They found that people with both low muscle mass and obesity were the most likely to have the lowest cognitive performance on working memory, mental flexibility, self-control and orientation.

In a press release, researchers cautioned that changes in body muscle and weight gain are a significant public health concern among older adults since they may lead to various negative health outcomes including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. 

 

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Marshall Health, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.