More evidence has been discovered that showcases regular moderate physical exercise is associated with enhanced brain health.
In a new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the research team followed 93 cognitively healthy adults (with an average age of 64) over a seven-day period.
Accelerometers (worn on the hip) were used to measure exercise activity and a specialised imaging technique known as 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) was used to measure glucose metabolism.
Why glucose metabolism? It is required to keep the brain functioning normally through processing the right nutrients and thus is linked to enhanced brain outcomes.
Analysing both datasets (i.e. accelerometers and glucose metabolism), the researchers found that participants who undertook regular ‘moderate’ physical activity, such as a brisk hour long walk or jog, also had greater levels of glucose metabolism.
Interestingly, those who undertook low physical exercise such as a slow walk, did not have greater levels of glucose metabolism.
Lead researcher Dr Ryan Dougherty from the University of Wisconsin, USA said the study has implications for guiding exercise ‘prescriptions’ that could help protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease.
“While many people become discouraged about Alzheimer’s disease because they feel there’s little they can do to protect against it, these results suggest that engaging in moderate physical activity may slow down the progression of the disease,” Dr Dougherty said.
While the researchers cannot draw definitive conclusions regarding causation in this study, they do believe this work makes a critical contribution towards efforts to identify the intensity and duration of physical activity that may assist in combating brain changes in mid and later life.
It also adds to the ever-growing body of evidence which suggests that a healthy body equals a healthy brain.
You can read the original study by clicking here.
Hi Jack. You're right, exercise is important for people who live with dementia. We have a few resources that you may be interested in reading. Alzheimer's Australia NSW released a discussion paper in 2014 on the Benefits of Physical Activity and Exercise for People Living with Dementia. You can access this at http://bit.ly/2tP6mGU. We also have a Dementia Q&A Sheet on Physical Exercise that you can read at http://bit.ly/2vftEp5 and Your Brain Matters Help Sheet on Physical Activity at http://bit.ly/2tL92qQ. Hope this helps Leanne – The Dementia Daily Team
Do they have any information on the over 80's. In my opion I think exercise helps all who suffer from Dementia.