Exercise Delays Alzheimer's Symptoms
A little bit of exercise helps people improve their memory and brain
function, according to a new study.
Exercise is recommended for
stress relief and
energy boosts --
and now, exercise may also be used as a weapon in the fight against Alzheimer's
Disease (AD). Alzheimers Disease is a tragic illness that robs victims and their
families of years of happiness by slowly destroying the mind and personality of
the person afflicted. Though there is no cure yet, there are drugs available to
treat symptoms and delay progression of Alzheimer's if it is diagnosed early.
A recent study shows moderate exercise may prevent the onset of AD by slowing
memory decline, an early symptom of the disease.
The finding is based on more than
1,700 adults aged 65 and older who didn't have dementia at the study's start.
Remember, Dementia isn't a normal part of
aging, but it becomes more common with
age. Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia in older adults. Those who
reported exercising at least three times per week were nearly a third less
likely to develop dementia -- primarily Alzheimer's -- over six years.
Researchers randomly assigned older adults at increased risk of dementia into
either a 24-week exercise program or an education program. Participants in the
exercise program were encouraged to exercise three times a week for 50 minutes,
with the most frequently recommended activity being
walking. Cognitive function
was evaluated over 18 months.
Using a standard test of cognition used with Alzheimer's patients,
researchers found that those in
the exercise group had better scores. They also
performed better on a dementia rating scale. Researchers said that the gains
were small, but so was the amount of activity. Also, they said that delaying the
onset of dementia by just a year per patient would mean 9.2 million fewer cases
Study authors wrote that the impact exercise had on memory is especially
important considering the participants only engaged in
If you want to stay mentally fit, you'd better stay physically fit as well.
If exercise is good for the
heart, it's good for the brain, too. What we thought
of as risk factors for
cardiovascular disease turn out to be risk factors for
cognitive decline as well.
Aerobic exercise and a diet rich in
such as those found in brightly colored fruits, can protect your brain from some
of the cellular damage associated with cognitive disorders.
So if you're determined to stay sharp, stay active in body and mind. You might
not be able to stop the aging process, but you can certainly slow it down.
To learn more on, How to Recognize the Early Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease,