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HHS HealthBeat (February 4, 2014)

Fit memory

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Researchers are looking into whether being physically fit could help people remember things better, and one study indicates it might.

At Boston University School of Medicine, researcher Karin Schon looked at a hormone called BDNF, which acts on brain cells including those in areas involved in memory.  She examined it in young adults who took a memory test based on their ability to recall previously seen pictures.

Schon says people with high fitness levels who had high BDNF levels were more likely to do better at the memory test. So she says:

“Aerobic exercise may increase hormone levels and therefore improve memory functions.”

That’s what she wants to find out next.

The study in the journal Behavioural Brain Research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: February 4, 2014