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Medicineworld.org: Walking and moderate exercise help prevent dementia

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Walking and moderate exercise help prevent dementia




People age 65 and older who regularly walk and get other forms of moderate exercise appear to significantly lower their risk of developing vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimers disease, as per a research studyreported in the December 19, 2007, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The four-year study involved 749 men and women in Italy who were over age 65 and did not have memory problems at the beginning of the study. Scientists measured the amount of energy exerted in the participants weekly physical activities, including walking, climbing stairs, and moderate activities, such as house and yard work, gardening, and light carpentry. By the end of the study, 54 people developed Alzheimers disease and 27 developed vascular dementia.



Walking and moderate exercise help prevent dementia

The study found the top one-third of participants who exerted the most energy walking were 27 percent less likely to develop vascular dementia than those people in the bottom one-third of the group.

Participants who scored in the top one-third for the most energy exerted in moderate activities lowered their risk of vascular dementia by 29 percent and people who scored in the top one-third for total physical activity lowered their risk by 24 percent in comparison to those in the bottom one-third.

Our findings show moderate physical activity, such as walking, and all physical activities combined lowered the risk of vascular dementia in the elderly independent of several sociodemographic, genetic and medical factors, said study author Giovanni Ravaglia, MD, with University Hospital S. Orsola Malpighi, in Bologna, Italy. Its important to note that an easy-to-perform moderate activity like walking provided the same cognitive benefits as other, more demanding activities.

Ravaglia says its possible that physical activity may improve cerebral blood flow and lower the risk of cerebrovascular disease, which is a risk factor for vascular dementia, but further research is needed about the mechanisms operating between physical activity and a persons memory.

Contrary to some reports, the study observed that physical activity was not linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimers disease, but Ravaglia says more studies are needed before concluding that Alzheimers disease is not preventable through exercise.


Posted by: Daniel    Source




Did you know?
People age 65 and older who regularly walk and get other forms of moderate exercise appear to significantly lower their risk of developing vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimers disease, as per a research studyreported in the December 19, 2007, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Medicineworld.org: Walking and moderate exercise help prevent dementia

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