Pain and the Brain

How old is your brain?

Posted by Mark Croucher
on March 20, 2016
Comments Off on How old is your brain?

How old is your brain?

Neurobiology of Aging Home

Differences between chronological and brain age are related to education and self-reported physical activity  April 2016 Volume 40


My take away from this study is pretty straight forward. It appears that if we continue to exercise routinely and focus on continued learning, we may be doing our future selves a great bit of benefit with regard to our brain function.  


Conclusions: These results demonstrate that higher levels of education and daily FOSC (flights of stairs climbed) are related to larger brain volume than predicted by CA (chronological age) which supports the utility of regional gray matter volume as a biomarker of healthy brain aging.

This study investigated the relationship between education and physical activity and the difference between a physiological prediction of age and chronological age (CA). Cortical and subcortical gray matter regional volumes were calculated from 331 healthy adults (range: 19–79 years). Multivariate analyses identified a covariance pattern of brain volumes best predicting CA (R2 = 47%). Individual expression of this brain pattern served as a physiologic measure of brain age (BA). The difference between CA and BA was predicted by education and self-report measures of physical activity. Education and the daily number of flights of stairs climbed (FOSC) were the only 2 significant predictors of decreased BA. Effect sizes demonstrated that BA decreased by 0.95 years for each year of education and by 0.58 years for 1 additional FOSC daily. Effects of education and FOSC on regional brain volume were largely driven by temporal and subcortical volumes.

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