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Activity at any age reduces chances of cognitive decline


Engaging in daily physical activity can reduce your chances for Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive decline. This is true even if you are past 80 years old.

“The results of our study indicate that all physical activities including exercise as well as other activities such as cooking, washing the dishes, and cleaning are associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. These results provide support for efforts to encourage all types of physical activity even in very old adults who might not be able to participate in formal exercise, but can still benefit from a more active lifestyle. This is the first study to use an objective measurement of physical activity in addition to self-reporting. This is important because people may not be able to remember the details correctly,” said Dr. Aron S. Buchman, an associate professor of neurological sciences at Rush University Medical Center.

Researchers followed the activities of 716 people aged 80 and older by tracking their physical movement with an actigraph worn on their wrists. They measured memory through cognitive testing and self-reporting.

Over the course of the study, after 3.5 years, 71 participants acquired Alzheimer’s disease. Those who were in the bottom 10% for physical activity were at 2.8 times higher risk of developing the disease than those in the top 10%.

“Our study which shows that physical activity, which is an easily modifiable risk factor, is associated with cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. This has important health consequences,” explained Buchman.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Neurology


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