Scientists still haven't found a cure for the memory-destroying condition that is Alzheimer's disease, however, a new study has found that aerobic exercise can help delay its onset and improve symptoms.
Numerous studies have suggested that exercise can boost brain health in older adults, but not all have concluded that exercise either delays the onset of Alzheimer's disease or improves symptoms, hence why researchers designed this new study. Here's what they found…
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia in older adults
According to statistics, currently about 5.3 Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. The number of adults who will develop the condition is expected to triple by 2050!
The World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested that older adults engage in 150 of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic training – or a combination of the two types.
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New study finds that aerobic exercise can help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and improve symptoms
The new study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
. To reach their findings, the team of researchers reviewed 19 studies that analysed the effect of an exercise training programme on brain function in older adults who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or at risk for the condition.
In total, the study looked at 1,145 older adults, most of whom were in their mid to late 70s. Of these adults, 35% had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and 65% were at risk.
The team found that older adults who did only aerobic exercise had a three times greater level of improvement in cognitive function than those who combined aerobic training with strength training. They also found that the amount of exercise recommended by the WHO for older adults was supported by the studies they examined.
Furthermore, the team discovered that older adults who didn’t do any exercise faced declines in cognitive function. Those who exercised showed small improvements in cognitive function irrelevant of what type of exercise they did.
They concluded that this study may be the first to show that for those who have Alzheimer’s disease or who are at risk, aerobic exercise may be more effective than other types of exercise in preserving the ability to think and make decisions.
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