Increasing muscle strength can improve brain function in adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment, study suggests

A study published yesterday, (24 October) in the Journal of American Geriatrics, has found that increased muscle strength improves the brain function of adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

Findings from the Study of Mental and Resistance Training (SMART) trial show a positive causal link between muscle adaptations to progressive resistance training and the functioning of the brain among those over 55 with MCI.

Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society said:

'New research is beginning to unravel how physical exercise may have benefits for the brain as people get older. This study suggests that people with minor memory and thinking problems, known as mild cognitive impairment, may benefit from weight training to improve their brain health.

'Not everyone with Mild Cognitive Impairment will go on to develop dementia - and it is not yet clear whether weight training could prevent dementia or help those who already have the condition. However, we do know that the best way to reduce your risk of developing dementia is a combination of taking regular exercise, not smoking and eating a healthy, balanced diet.'