Navigation Links
Strength Training May Give Boost to Seniors' Brains
Date:4/23/2012

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly women noticing the first signs of memory decline might ward off full-blown dementia by engaging in routine strength training, new research suggests.

But while supervised weight-lifting seemed to boost mental functioning among those struggling with incipient memory loss, aerobics-based activity programs did not confer a similar mental health benefit, the study team found.

"Most studies have looked at aerobic training, but this study compares both aerobic and strength training," explained study co-author Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an assistant professor in the department of physical therapy at the University of British Columbia. "And among people who don't yet have dementia but are already at a high risk in terms of mild memory and executive function impairment, our study shows that strength training, but not aerobics training, does have benefits for cognition."

Liu-Ambrose, also an investigator at the university's Center for Hip Health and Mobility and the Brain Research Center, and her colleagues outlined their findings in the April 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The authors noted that dementia is a huge public health concern, with a new case diagnosed somewhere in the world every 7 seconds.

Among the elderly, mild "cognitive," or mental, impairment is viewed as an indicator of future full-blown dementia risk, as well as a chance to perhaps intervene with some form of treatment that might lower that risk.

Previously, the study team found that a year of twice-weekly resistance (strength) classes seemed to boost overall cognitive capacity among mentally healthy elderly women.

This time, the team focused on women between 70 and 80 years old who had complained of memory difficulties and were deemed to have "probable" mild cognitive impairment.

For six months, the women engaged in 60-minute classes twice a week. One-third were randomly assigned to a strength-training program that included lifting weights; one-third walked outdoors in an aerobics program; and one-third took basic balance and toning classes.

Seventy-seven women completed the program, which included standard verbal and visual memory tests, and decision-making and problem-solving tasks. Almost one-third underwent functional MRI at the start and end of the study to look for brain activity changes.

After 6 months, compared to those in the balance/tone classes, the strength-training group was found to have experienced "significant" cognitive improvement.

The strength-training group also experienced activity changes in three specific parts of the brain's cortex associated with cognitive behavior, the researchers found. These changes were not seen among the balance/tone group.

As for the aerobics group, while significant physical improvements were cited relative to the balance/tone group, this group did not appear to accrue the same mental benefits as the strength-training group.

The findings might even be conservative, the authors said, because many women skipped classes.

The team cautioned that their findings may not necessarily apply to women of a different age group, or to men in general.

Catherine Roe, an assistant professor of neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, hailed the effort as a "worthwhile avenue of exploration" while also expressing some surprise.

"There is certainly other work that has also suggested that exercise can be beneficial cognitively," she noted. "Participation in physical activity definitely seems to help preserve memory and thinking skills."

On the other hand, Roe said, this study "surprises me, because I can't think of a mechanism off-hand why one (exercise method) would work and not the other."

To that point, Liu-Ambrose said that for now, her team could only hypothesize.

"It could be that resistance-training requires more learning and monitoring by its very nature," she said. "If you're lifting weights you have to monitor your sets, your reps, you use weight machines and you have to adjust the seat, etc. But with walking it's much more natural for most, so there's less cognitive involvement. But at this point we don't have a clear idea of what's going on at the mechanistic level."

Liu-Ambrose also acknowledged that longer-term benefits remain unknown. "But I would say that overall physical activity of this sort is a pretty promising strategy, because it's one of the few interventions that can be delivered globally, and it's pretty inexpensive compared with other approaches."

More information

For more on mild cognitive impairment, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Teresa Liu-Ambrose, Ph.D., assistant professor, department of physical therapy, University of British Columbia, and investigator, UBC Center for Hip Health and Mobility and Brain Research Center, and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Catherine M. Roe, Ph.D., assistant professor, neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis; April 23, 2012, Archives of Internal Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Private Sector, President's Malaria Initiative Join Forces to Strengthen Angolas Capacity to Control Mosquitoes
2. Awards Strengthen Stonhard's Reputation for High-Performing Floors in the World's Most Prominent Pharmaceutical Facilities
3. Choice of Derek H. Lee as Chief Financial and Corporate Development Officer Strengthens Talaris Advisors' Portfolio Design Business Model
4. Book explains how focus on strengths, not failures, helps teens succeed in school
5. Bone-Strengthening Drug Guards Against Spread of Breast Cancer
6. Author Erin Morrow Still Releases "Fighting MS: Strength in Numbers"
7. Showing Gratitude for Partners Generosity Strengthens Bonds
8. Dieting alone may not help stave off type 2 diabetes; muscle mass, strength important
9. Youth clubs strengthen kids self image to keep them out of trouble
10. SC Magazine Strengthens Commitment to Canadian Information Security with Inaugural SC Congress Canada
11. Strength Based on Science Drives Glidewell Dental Lab's BruxZir Solid Zirconia
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Strength Training May Give Boost to Seniors' Brains
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Husted Kicking has ... Diego, CA, on February 6th & 7th, 2016 according to kicking coach Michael Husted. ... not invited to the NFL’s combine in Indianapolis,” says Husted. “The NFL uses a ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... AZ (PRWEB) , ... February 11, 2016 , ... As ... with support of the Million Dollar Round Table Foundation (MDRTF), has gifted $10,000 to ... according to Colleen’s Dream Foundation President Billy Cundiff. , “We are honored to support ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Early this week, Team Iconic at J. ... Nestlé KITKAT as the first global confectionery brand sourced from 100% sustainable cocoa. , ... quality of their product, through activities that focus on better farming, better lives and ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Fort Walton Beach, Florida (PRWEB) , ... February ... ... that the innovative weather-forecasting company is unveiling its revolutionary new 2.0 version at ... new platform, MetLoop has “put the power of the world's most advanced weather ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... Guard, to associations of medical professionals throughout the country. The Guard was specifically ... assessments, policies and procedures, employee training, regulatory updates, and compliance coaching. , In ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... England och PITTSBURGH ... Erbjudandet lämnas inte, och detta pressmeddelande ... indirekt, i eller till, och inga anmälningssedlar ... av aktieägare i, något land där Erbjudandet, ... accept av Erbjudandet skulle strida mot tillämpliga ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... A new report from business intelligence provider GBI Research ... Alzheimer,s disease market will more than double from just under $5 billion in ... Rate (CAGR) of 11%. Canada , France ... Spain , the UK, and Japan , and ... --> Canada , France , ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016 Urologix, the market ... treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), announces new private ... Keswani , a medical device industry veteran of more ... Limited Liability Company.  Plymouth, Minn. ... lines, Cooled ThermoTherapy™ and Prostiva® RF Therapy, will continue ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: