Exercise To Prevent Alzheimer’s
A team of researchers from Yonsei University College of Medicine found that, compared to people whose lifestyle is sedentary, exercising as little as once a week can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 18 percent. This finding held true even among people who already have memory problems. The study showed that the greatest reduction in risk occurred among individuals who devoted at least 10 minutes to vigorous or moderate physical activity more than once a week. Study author Hanna Cho wrote that regular exercise should be recommended to patients with mild cognitive impairment to protect against developing Alzheimer’s. She added that even if a person did not exercise regularly before being diagnosed with cognitive impairment, “our results suggest that starting to exercise regularly after diagnosis could significantly lower (the) risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.” The researchers hypothesized that regular exercise may increase production of molecules that support the growth and survival of neurons or increase blood flow to the brain, and theorized that this could help prevent the reduction in brain volume often associated with dementia. They added that more research is needed to determine how long the protective effect of regular physical exercise against Alzheimer’s lasts, and to determine the biological mechanisms underlying the protection.
Yeo Jin Kim et al “Association between physical activity and conversion from mild cognitive impairment to dementia,” Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy, November 11, 2020, alzres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13195-020-00707-1
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