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Aerobic Exercise Can Improve Alzheimer's Symptoms

Aerobic Exercise Can Improve Alzheimer's Symptoms
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By    |   Monday, 29 January 2018 11:48 AM

Alzheimer's has no cure, but a new study found that exercise may delay its onset and improve symptoms, although the effect is mild.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) destroys memory over time, and is the most common form of dementia in older adults. Currently, about 5.3 Americans have the condition, and the number of adults who will develop Alzheimer's is expected to triple by 2050.

Several studies have shown that exercise can improve brain health in older adults, and the World Health Organization has suggested that older adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week (brisk walking), or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic training, or a combination of the two types.

But not all studies have concluded that exercise either delays the onset of Alzheimer's or improves symptoms, so researchers designed a study to learn whether exercise could delay or improve symptoms.

They reviewed 19 studies that examined the effect of an exercise training program on cognitive function in older adults who were at risk for or diagnosed with AD. The studies included 1,145 older adults, most of whom were in their mid-to late 70s. Of the participants, 65 percent were at risk for AD and 35 percent had been diagnosed with AD.

The researchers discovered that older adults who did aerobic exercise by itself experienced a three times greater level of improvement in cognitive function than those who participated in combined aerobic training and strength training exercises. They also confirmed that the amount of exercise WHO recommends for older adults was reinforced by the studies they examined.

Finally, the researchers found that older adults in the no-exercise control groups in the studies faced declines in cognitive function. Meanwhile, the older adults who exercised showed small improvements in cognitive function no matter what type of exercise they did.

The research team concluded that this study may be the first to show that for older adults who are at risk for or who have AD, aerobic exercise may be more effective than other types of exercise in preserving the ability to think and make decisions.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Other recent studies have brought encouraging news in the treatment of Alzheimer's. An animal study from Tel Aviv University found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can alleviate Alzheimer's symptoms.

Participants undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy breathe in pure oxygen in a pressurized room or chamber where the air pressure is increased to twice that of normal air. The Israeli team administered hyperbaric oxygen treatment to mice for one hour per day. Results showed that treatment reduced both inflammation and plaque pathology by 40 percent.

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Alzheimer's has no cure, but a new study found that exercise may delay its onset and improve symptoms, although the effect is mild.Alzheimer's disease (AD) destroys memory over time, and is the most common form of dementia in older adults. Currently, about 5.3 Americans...
aerobic, exercise, improve, Alzheimers, symptoms
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2018-48-29
Monday, 29 January 2018 11:48 AM
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