A recent study shows that exercise is effective against Alzheimer’s. While it is a known fact that exercise can prevent the disease, a recent study shows that it works as therapy, as well.
Researchers said on Thursday, during the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference that regular and energetic exercise makes changes inside the brain that may be beneficial, on top of making patients suffering from the disease feel a lot better.
Laura Baker from the Wake Forest School of Medicine and the leader of one of the studies said that exercise works as a fountain of youth for a patient’s brain. Mario Carillo, the chief scientist at the Alzheimer’s Association added that regular exercise or physical activity could protect the brain against Alzheimer’s and other dementias and could also help the people who have the disease live a lot better. He said that this is the first time they actually saw that exercise and physical activity can help a person live better with the disease.
Laura Baker analyzed 70 people with mild cognitive impairment that can lead to the disease and diabetes that can actually raise the risk of getting the disease. The team of researchers assigned the patients to work inside community facilities, taking part in aerobics, in most cases on treadmills, or take part in 45 minutes to an hour sessions of stretching, four times every week.
During the six months of the research, the scientists analyzed the decision-making, verbal recall, looked at the blood and spinal fluid and conducted MRI scans on the brain. The levels of tau, which is a protein associated to the disease, fell in the people who exercised regularly. The people who exercised had a better flow of blood in the processing and memory centers inside their brains and showed overall improvement in planning, attention and organizing abilities.
The scientists also used a test for memory and thinking known as the Symbol-Digit Modalities test and checked for symptoms of depression, quality of life and daily activities.
The people who exercised showed a lot less irritability, anxiety and depression. The people who exercised the hardest and the most scored considerably better in the Symbol-Digit Modalities test. The people who walked at a reasonably fast pace for a period of an hour for three times a week also lowered their blood pressure and lost weight on top of scoring a lot better on attention and memory tests.
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