Caregiver's Home Companion Free captioning phone for those with hearing loss.
 HOME PAGE  SEARCH Go

Posted: January 02, 2008

Walking and Moderate Exercise Help Prevent Dementia

Seniors 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 Alzheimer’s disease, according to a newly published study.
 
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. Researchers 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 Alzheimer’s disease and 27 developed vascular dementia.
 
advertisement
Discount Prescriptions
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% and people who scored in the top one-third for total physical activity lowered their risk by 24% compared 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 socio-demographic, genetic and medical factors,” said study author Dr. Giovanni Ravaglia, with University Hospital S. Orsola Malpighi, in Bologna, Italy. “It’s important to note that an easy-to-perform moderate activity like walking provided the same cognitive benefits as other, more demanding activities.”
 
Ravaglia says it’s 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 person’s memory.
 
Contrary to some reports, the study found that physical activity was not associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, but Ravaglia says more research is needed before concluding that Alzheimer’s disease is not preventable through exercise.
 
The study, published in the online issue of the medical journal Neurology, was supported by grants from the Italian Ministry of University and Scientific Research.

Email or share this story Bookmark and Share

Search CaregiversHome
Find with keyword(s):

Enter a keyword or phrase to search CaregiversHome's archives for related news topics, the latest news stories, timely times, and reference articles.

© 2008 Pederson Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Commercial use, redistribution or other forms of reuse of this information is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Pederson Publishing.

_____

View The Caregiver's Hotline in which this article first appeared

Back to Top

Privacy Statement Contact Us Site Map Products & Services Our Partners Advertise
© Copyright 2003-2020. Pederson Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.