By On October 31st, 2012

Exercise Key to Reducing Dementia in Seniors?

Active Seniors

Regardless of your age, rarely would a physician advise you to exercise less. A recent study even suggests that physically active seniors are less likely to develop dementia than those who exercise less. As reported by Dr. Robin Wulffson for EmaxHealth, the study originated from the Department of Neurology at Cal-Irvine.

Researchers obverved the physical performance of seniors, average age of 94, in a variety of tasks, such as standing balance and short walks. The findings concluded that poor physical performance is “significantly associated with increased odds of dementia.” In fact, in the walk test, the individuals unable to walk at all were 30-times more likely to have dementia than those with the best walking score. It is possible that age and overall health contribute to this particular test, but researchers discovered that with each decline in score in the walking test, chances of dementia increased. That remained true even for the difference between the top-walkers and the 2nd-best.

This study concludes that “dementia is a complex neurodegenerative process that may affect physical performance and cognition.” 

More research is needed but it is possible that increased exercise, with increased blood flow to the brain, can help decrease the risk of dementia. 

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