Advancing age is associated not only with physical health problems but also with certain cognitive declines that are linked with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). An increased sedentary lifestyle leads to a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease due to reduced arterial wall plasticity.
Because MCI is considered to be a pre-clinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, it is imperative that we discover what neuroprotective factors prevent declines in working memory, flexible thinking, and cognitive control as we move into the later stages of adulthood.
The Lifespan Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory at UT Dallas is studying physical fitness and arterial plasticity as both are indicators
of cardiovascular health.
Dr. Chandramallika Basak and her team have discovered that older adults with both physical fitness and arterial plasticity have similar brain profiles as younger adults performing the same high-level cognitive skills.
Their goal is to identify how cardiovascular health impacts cognitive decline, and, to predict which of these health factors can help fight against diminished mental activity in aging adults.
For more information on Dr. Basak’s lab visit the Lifespan Neuroscience and Cognition Lab (LiNC).