Sitting for too long may increase dementia risk, says study

Too much sitting may thin the part of your brain that's important for memory study suggests

Sitting for too long may increase dementia risk, says study

"Thus, the finding that more sedentary time is associated with less thickness in MTL is clinically relevant", the authors wrote, adding that this behavior may be "a possible target for interventions created to improve brain health" for adults who were middle-aged and older adults.

Specifically, the new study linked sedentary behavior to thinning of the medial temporal lobe, a brain region involved in the formation of new memories, the researchers said in the statement.

Researchers from the University of California explained that there is abundant literature on the link between physical activity and improved brain health, including a delayed onset of dementia. It was found that even high levels of physical activity could not offset the impact of sedentary practices, including lesser gray matter in the lobe.

USA researchers have published preliminary studies that show that sitting down for too long can reduce the thickness of the medial temporal lobe, a brain structure that is very involved in memory. Regardless of the level of physical activity, long-term sitting is closely related to the thinning of the media temporal lobe.

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The study, led by Prabha Siddarth of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, looked at a group of test subjects between the ages of 45 and 75 - asking them the average number of hours they spent sitting each day during the previous week.

A thinning of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) - a region of the brain often implicated in the formation of new memories. With every hour of sitting daily, there was an obvious drop in brain thickness. In addition, the researchers focused on the hours spent sitting, but did not ask participants if they took breaks during this time. Reducing sedentary behaviour may be a possible target for interventions created to improve brain health in people at risk for Alzheimer's disease, researchers said. In fact, scientists have already found that sitting for long periods of time can cause all sorts of problems, including heart disease, diabetes, increased blood pressure, obesity, abnormal cholesterol levels, and more.

In the future, researchers are aiming to find out whether sitting actually causes brain thinning and what role gender, race and weight might play in brain health in relation to sitting.

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