Pitt Perspective
Our take on hot topics

The Topic

Exercise and the Brain

A study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found evidence that indicates an association between cardiorespiratory fitness and brain health, particularly in gray matter and total brain volume—regions of the brain involved with cognitive decline and aging. The results suggest cardiorespiratory exercise may contribute to improved brain health and decelerate a decline in gray matter. An editorial by three Mayo Clinic experts that accompanies the study says the results are "encouraging, intriguing and contribute to the growing literature relating to exercise and brain health."

Our Expert's Take
Juleen Rodakowski in a red dress shirt.

Juleen Rodakowski, assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, has expertise in late-life disability and caregiving. Her research primarily focuses on older adults with mood and cognitive changes, as well as caregivers of older adults who are themselves vulnerable to poor health and disability.

 “I think it’s wonderful that science is helping us understanding that aerobic exercise is not only helpful for physical health and heart health, but it is also helpful for brain health,” she said. “Aerobic exercise is emerging as a way to support brain health, and this study is contributing to our knowledge base by showing that there is a meaningful link between gray matter volume and aerobic exercise.”

Media Contact: Amerigo Allegretto, aallegretto@pitt.edu 412-624-6128 | 814-512-8930

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