Now − Good News about reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s
A recent clinical study on aerobic exercise may provide some insight into what looks to be promising results in reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s even though the National Institute for Health is currently is not endorsing any one method or treatment.
The first randomized clinical study of exercise and brain protection was conducted by Laura Baker, and her research team at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs of Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA.
The 6 month program measured the effects of aerobic exercise on 33 adults with mild cognitive impairment. Ten adults received only non-aerobic stretching and balancing exercises while the remaining twenty-three, exercised 4 days a week for 45-60 minutes on treadmills or stationary bikes.
Thinking speed, fluency with words and ability to multi-task
– significant gains for the aerobic exercisers
– decline for non-aerobic exercisers
– neither groups showed an improvement in memory skills
Men vs. Women
– Women made greater gains than men
It’s probable according to Baker that aerobic exercise protects the brain by −
- increasing blood flow to brain by building heart and artery resilience,
- reversing or preventing diabetes by keeping energy metabolism stable, affect
- preventing an accumulation of stress hormones by reducing stress
According to some researchers, fitness training may prove to be a more effective strategy than drugs or supplements which has yet to demonstrate benefits in clinical trials.
Researchers, including Baker are planning new longer and larger clinical trials to determine if more time is needed to affect an improvement in memory and to continue to study the positive effects of aerobic exercise.
In the mean time, the general recommendation is not to delay, and get out there and move.