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Exercise May Help Prevent Age-Related Memory Loss
Date:9/2/2008

of physical activity undertaken by participants in the study," wrote Dr. Nicola T. Lautenschlager, of the University of Melbourne, and colleagues.

"Unlike medication, which was found to have no significant effect on mild cognitive impairment at 36 months, physical activity has the advantage of health benefits that are not confined to cognitive function alone, as suggested by findings on depression, quality of life, falls, cardiovascular function, and disability," the researchers added.

They noted that the number of older adults with Alzheimer's disease (AD) could increase from the current 26.6 million to 106.2 million by 2050. If AD onset could be delayed by 12 months, there would be 9.2 million fewer cases of AD worldwide.

Exercise and other lifestyle factors may benefit older adults at risk for Alzheimer's disease, Dr. Eric B. Larson, of the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle, wrote in an accompanying editorial in the journal.

"Health advances of the past century have led to more individuals surviving to extreme old age, when their risk of Alzheimer disease and related dementias increases substantially," Larson added. "Exercise -- and possibly other lifestyle factors -- appears to affect vascular risk and late-life brain health."

More information

The National Institute on Aging has more about memory loss.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: American Medical Association, news release, Sept. 3, 2008


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