Regular exercise could reduce decline in people with mild cognitive impairment
Published 13 July 2012
Exercise can help reduce cognitive decline in older people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), according to research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.
A study by the University of British Columbia found resistance training significantly improved performance in tests measuring conflict resolution, attention and memory for people with MCI. The six month study, involved 86 women with MCI aged 70-80.
Another study, by the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology in Japan found that language ability of a group of 47 older people with MCI improved when they took part in a mixture of aerobic, strength and balance exercises over a 12 month period.
Further studies showed benefits of exercise more generally for older people, including a study by the University of Pittsburgh on 120 older adults that reported moderate intensity walking can grow the hippocampus - the brain region related to memory.
Alzheimer's Society comment:
'While weightlifting and workouts may not be everyone's cup of tea, this research shows once again how important exercise is for the brain. We know regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing dementia by up to 45 per cent but these studies show it can also have real benefits for people with cognitive impairment.
'There are 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK. Research like this is crucial to help us provide the best treatment and care for people with MCI and dementia. The Prime Minister promised to double investment into research, now we need to make sure it's spent in the most effective way.'
Dr Anne Corbett
'The influence of an aerobic exercise intervention on brain volume in late adulthood' by Kirk Erickson et al presented at Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2012
'Resistance training promotes cognitive functions and functional plasticity in senior women with probable mild cognitive impairment: A 6-month randomized controlled trail', by Lindsay Nagamatsu et al presented at Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2012
'Effects of Multicomponent Exercise on Cognitive Function in Older Adults with Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomised Control Trial' by Hiroyuki Shimada et al presented at Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2012
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