Oct 29

Can Exercise Keep Dementia At Bay?


If dementia runs in your family and you want to make sure all generations are as protected as they can be, you might find the results of a new study published in the Neurology journal of interest.

Conducted by the University of British Columbia, the research found that elderly people who already have thinking and memory problems could benefit from increasing the amount they exercise.

Study participants with an average age of 74 and who had mild vascular cognitive impairment who did one-hour exercise classes three times a week for six months registered a small improvement on tests of overall thinking skills than those who did no exercise.

Teresa Liu-Ambrose, lead author of the study, said: “This result, while modest, was similar to that seen in previous studies testing the use of drugs for people with vascular cognitive impairment. However, the difference was less than what is considered to be the minimal clinically importance difference of three points.”

She went on to say that more studies are required so as to determine whether exercise can improve thinking in people with this kind of condition.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are many benefits of exercise for people with dementia, including improving heart health to reduce high blood pressure and heart disease risk, improving physical fitness, keeping bones strong, improving self-esteem and confidence, improving mood, and reducing the risk of falls since balance and strength will be improved as well.

People in the early stages of dementia should be encouraged to carry on with activities that they have always enjoyed.

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