Outrunning Alzheimer's
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Every minute, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s, but there may be a way to outpace this disease and it’s through exercise. A recent report revealed exercise helped prevent both mental and physical decline. The study involved more than four hundred fifty people undiagnosed with dementia. For twenty years, they got routine physicals and memory assessments.

What’s unique about this study is that it didn’t rely on self-reporting. They wore monitors that measured their physical activity. So, there was an accurate measurement of how much they exercised which could be compared against their memory assessment scores. After twenty years, nearly two hundred people developed dementia and two hundred fifty did not.

The amount of exercise made a clear difference. For every significant increase in exercise, people stood a thirty percent lower chance of getting dementia. The same was found when general movement was measured. Significant increases in movement decreased their dementia risk by fifty-five percent. But to prove just how much exercise matters, even people whose brains showed changes consistent with dementia scored better in their thinking skills than those who did not exercise.

What we don’t know is whether the people in the study had stopped or lowered their exercise because they were already experiencing some mental decline. We also don’t know which type of exercise is best at preventing dementia. And, when should we start for the protective effects to kick in – over a lifetime or can we start late?

I’m going to say, start anyway. Why not? There are so many benefits to exercise starting with just feeling better.

For more information…

Rush University Alzheimer's Disease Center
Experts at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center understand the physical and emotional toll the disease takes on patients and their families. They’re committed to discovering better ways to diagnose, treat and prevent Alzheimer’s and other dementias...

Protecting against cognitive decline
While there's currently no treatment that can prevent or cure dementia, researchers have identified some factors that may help protect you from cognitive decline...

Aerobic exercise may be key for Alzheimer's prevention
New research recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society explores the benefits of exercising for delaying Alzheimer's disease...