Get Moving: Daily Exercise May Reduce Alzheimer’s Disease Risk at Any Age
Daily physical exercise may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, even in people over the age of 80, according to a study published in the April 18, 2012, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. “The study showed that not only exercise but also activities such as cooking, washing the dishes and cleaning are associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” said study author Aron S. Buchman, MD, with Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “These results provide support for efforts to encourage physical activity in even very old people who might not be able to participate in formal exercise but can still benefit from a more active lifestyle.” For the study, a group of 716 people with an average age of 82 wore an actigraph, a device that monitors activity, on their non-dominant wrist continuously for 10 days. All exercise and non-exercise was recorded. They also were given annual tests during the four-year study that measured memory and thinking abilities. The research found that people in the bottom 10 percent of daily physical activity were more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as people in the top 10 percent of daily activity.
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