Excerpt from: NPR (click for full article)
The numbers are pretty grim: More than half of all 85-year-olds suffer some form of .
But here's the good news: Brain researchers say there are ways to boost brain power and stave off problems in memory and thinking.
In other words, brain decline is not necessarily an inevitable part of aging. "It's simply not pre-destined for all human beings," Bryan James tells Shots. He's an epidemiologist at the in Chicago. "Lots of people live into their 90s and even 100s with no symptoms of dementia."
So what can you do to increase the odds? Neuroscientist Art Kramer, who directs the at the University of Illinois, has a number of suggestions. First and foremost, Kramer says, is to exercise. Research shows it's the best thing you can do for your brain.
Kramer did a in which he scanned the brains of 120 older adults, half of whom started a program of moderate aerobic exercise — just 45 minutes, three days a week, mostly walking. After a year, the MRI scans showed that for the aerobic group, the volume of their brains actually increased.