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Could your leg strength hold the key to your brain’s health?

A new study looking into more than 300 twins aged between 43 and 73 suggests that older women with stronger legs seem to be less at risk for brain ageing than those with weaker legs. The reason why they looked at legs is because they may serve as indicators for the exercise someone is getting, and we know from previous research that exercise itself has brain-boosting effect due to the release of chemicals benefiting the brain, as well as to better cardiovascular health.

As for its association with brain health and cognition, the researchers conducted a series of tests looking at memory and mental processing skills. The study points out that the twin with more leg strength at the start of the study fared better cognitively 10 years later, and experienced fewer brain changes associated with ageing. The findings held even after taking into consideration other factors related to lifestyle and health risk.

In sum, leg strength seems to be a good indicator of a person’s brain health and dementia risk.

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