Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Teenage exercise lowers risk of later life dementia

Recently an article was published in the local paper by Marjie Gilliam an international Sports Sciences Master certified personal trainer entitled "Exercise may lower risk of dementia."  I will briefly summarize the article.

Studies show men and women over age of 65 that exercise at least 15-30 minutes at least three times per week were less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease even if they were genetically predisposed to the disease.  "Although women who are physically active have a lower risk of cognitive impairment in late life compared to those who are sedentary, physical activity during teenage years appears to be most important in reducing this risk of cognitive impairment in later life."

How surprising that this study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found being physically active as a teenager is most  important in preventing cognitive impairment.  The research also found that the women who didn't exercise as teenagers but became physically active at age 30 and 50 had significantly reduced odds of cognitive impairment relative to those who remained sedentary.

There is evidence to suggest that exercise has a positive effect on brain plasticity and cognition while reducing the rates and severity of vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes., each of which are associated with increased risk of cognitive impairment.

"Low physical activity levels in today's youth may mean increased dementia rates in the future."

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