Aerobic Exercise Can Combat Alzheimer’s

Aerobic Exercise Can Combat Alzheimer’s

As we face an increasingly elderly population particularly in the West and Japan, acute Alzheimer’s is becoming even more widespread.

As is the awareness and multiple ways of research in to prevention and treat cognitive impairment

One such treatment is free, drug free and completely natural yet can offer quite incredible benefits to those who participated in research.

The treatment?

Aerobic exercise has seen to offer tremendous benefits for those with cognitive impairment in studies on people aged 65 and older.

But what is mild cognitive impairment and how many people suffer from it?

It is when a person who is 65+ loses their capacity to remember things acutely and notice a diminished ability of reasoning.

As many as 20 per cent of the senior population suffer from one form of cognitive impairment, however, it generally is not to the point whereby the condition interferes with their daily activities.

However, according to some studies, a sign of cognitive impairment has a high chance of developing in to Alzheimer’s disease after approximately 6 years of diagnosis.

The discovery that anaerobic exercise may increase the volume of some brain areas as well as improving memory and overall cognitive performance is positive news for sufferers.

The Research:

The study consisted of 35 adults with mild cognitive impairment by a team of researchers from Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC.

The subjects were divided in to two groups, one group performed a number of aerobic exercises four times per week over a 6 month period.

The other group were instructed to perform stretching to the same program as the exercise group.

The research team collated magnetic resonance scans of all of the participants’ brains before and after the 6-month period.

The brain images were compared using conventional and biomechanical metrics to measure the changes in brain volume and shape.

The results astounded the team when they saw a significant improvement in executive function from the group who engaged in aerobic exercise.

In fact, even a short period of exercise yielded positive results in cognitive function, more so than was anticipated.

The area of the brain which is responsible for short-term memory known as the temporal lobe saw an increase in size along with an overall increase in most gray matter.

While improvements were notice from both groups, the exercise group had a much greater increase in brain volume, gray matter volume as well as an increased directional stretch of brain tissue.

So while any type of exercise shows improvement, it seems that aerobic activities create a higher level of benefit for cognitive function.

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Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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