In older adults, the higher the sodium consumption and the less physical activity, the more chance the (aging) brain will be negatively effected.
The effects of physical activity seem to win out, so that habitual, moderate exercise may essentially ‘immunize’ the brain against adverse effects of higher sodium intake. However, the more physical activity and less consumption of NaCl the better. (Getting the proper amounts of sun time is critical too.-(editor’s note)
It is well known that a high sodium intake stresses out the cardiovascular system. Given the link between cardiovascular factors, such as hypertension, and brain health, in a study of more than 1200 older adults with normal cognitive function at the outset, researchers found that a high intake of sodium combined with low levels of physical activity was associated with a decline in global cognitive function over 3 years.
After age, sex, education, waist circumference, diabetes, and overall diet were controlled, the study showed that for those with low physical active, sodium intake and cognitive decline was most impacted over time.
Excerpts courtesy of medscape.com http://goo.gl/Byjtr
Image courtesy of wikimedia.org http://goo.gl/PTUKb