Studies: Regular Exercise May Benefit Seniors Facing Onset Of Alzheimer’s

The Los Angeles Times (7/24, Healy) reports in “Science Now” on studies presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference suggesting that exercise may benefit people with mild cognitive impairment and “mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.” In each of these studies, “subjects were asked to participate in three-to-four sessions of aerobic conditioning – ranging from 45 minutes to an hour – a week.” The goal “was to get participants working at between 70% and 80% of their aerobic capacity.”

The AP (7/24, Neergaard) reports that researchers found that “vigorous workouts by people with mild memory impairment decreased levels of a warped protein” called tau that is “linked to risk of later Alzheimer’s – and improved quality of life for people who already were in early stages of the disease.” One study involving magnetic resonance imaging scans demonstrated that “exercisers experienced increased blood flow in brain regions important for memory and thought processing – while cognitive tests showed a corresponding improvement in their attention, planning and organizing abilities.” Dr. Laurie Ryan, of the National Institute on Aging, cautioned, however, that “it’s too soon to say that [exercise] lowers risk’ of worsening memory…saying longer studies must test if sticking with exercise makes a lasting difference.”

Related Links:

— “To fend off dementia, run — or dance, bike, power-walk or step,” Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, July 23, 2015.

Posted in In The News.