Aerobic Exercise May Improve Memory In Seniors

by Michelle Trudeau

NPR - February 21, 2011

There's a very small structure deep in the center of our brains called the hippocampus. It's smaller than your pinkie, but it plays an absolutely essential role in learning and memory. The hippocampus encodes new information so that we can recall it later. Without a hippocampus, we would be unable to form new memories; we'd only be able to remember the old ones.

An elderly couple holds hands while walking along a Berlin street. A recent study showed that walking grows the region of the brain that archives memories.
Enlarge Patrick Sinkel/AFP via Getty Images

An elderly couple holds hands while walking along a Berlin street. A recent study showed that walking grows the region of the brain that archives memories. As part of normal aging, the hippocampus shrinks. And this shrinkage speeds up as we grow older, foreshadowing memory problems and dementias like Alzheimer's disease. Read More