Alzheimer's & Physical Activity - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/2/08

Alzheimer's & Physical Activity

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There are about 26-million people living with Alzheimer's and, with people living longer, that number is expected to grow to 106-million by the year 2050.  That is why the race is on to find real treatments to stop or at least delay dementia.  At the University of Western Australia, researchers followed nearly 200 people over age of 50 who reported memory trouble with no signs of dementia.  Half of those people committed to exercise three times a week for six months and the other half received material to study and learn about memory loss but were told not to exercise.

The results of their study were undeniable. 

Dr. Nicola Lautenschlager, M.D., psychiatrist, says, "Physical activity made a difference.  So those who did the program had a better memory and a better cognition at the end of the intervention after six months".  She adds, "There might be simple lifestyle factor which actually could help to delay the onset of dementia and its most common cause which is Alzheimer's disease".

The study appears in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association.  It follows the study a year after the two groups were divided into either study or exercise and it says that a year later, those who increased their physical activity scored higher and had better memory scores than those who did not exercise.

Researchers say physical activity may actually help protect the brain and could potentially delay the onset of dementia.

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