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:3/28/2017)... , ... March 28, 2017 , ... Usually, the impending ... daily wardrobe. However, for those self-conscious about a double chin, this means more anxiety ... ideal solution. , “For most people, a double chin is undesirable,” Dr. Goldman ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Qualidigm ... its corporate headquarters to a new, more expansive office space in order to ... Qualidigm purchased a distressed office building in Wethersfield, Conn. located at 936 Silas ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... In ... Self-Funding Success website has recently developed and published an informational resource that addresses ... created based on common inquiries the site’s team of third party administrator (TPA) ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 28, 2017 , ... AutismOne announced the Board Certified in ... Medicine and available for application on Saturday, May 27, 2017, following Thursday, Friday, ... Springs. , Ed Arranga, president of AutismOne, stated: "Many of the modalities termed ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , ... March 28, 2017 , ... With expansion and ... Georgia, in early March. , The seed processing plant opened in Marshallville in 2006, ... 2016. The new office allows opportunity for transition of Patten Seed operations to the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/28/2017)... CAMBRIDGE , United Kingdom and  BOSTON ... text analytics provider Linguamatics today announced ... Dow Jones . The agreement allows pharmaceutical companies ... utilizing Linguamatics I2E text mining technology. ... used by 18 of the top 20 global ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... 28, 2017  AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACRX), ... and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment ... Medicines Agency (EMA) has notified the company that ... Authorisation Application (MAA) has passed validation, and that ... The MAA for ARX-04 (known as DSUVIA™ in ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... -- The global flow cytometry market ... 2025, according to a new study by Grand View ... cancer is expected to upsurge the demand for flow ... years. In addition, higher number of physicians is inclined ... therapy, due to adverse effects caused by chemotherapy & ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: