A number of three studies (American, Canadian and Danish) have recently indicated that physical activity may help people to cope with Alzheimer disease. The studies have been presented and approved by the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC).
The latest Alzheimer’s Association International Conference was held on July 23rd in Washington DC, being the most prominent association for specialists dealing with Alzheimer and other dementia-related illnesses.
The studies, focusing on the beneficial and advantageous impact of physical exercise and work-out on such illnesses, proved to be clear, to the point and inclined towards a course of action, an efficient form of treatment. Not to mention that exercise can definitely boost one’s health and prevent them from getting Alzheimer or vascular dementia.
Copenhagen-based Danish Dr. Steen Hasselbalch and his colleagues from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences was the one who firstly conducted the study. They studied patients, between 50 to 90 years of age, who had been affected by the Alzheimer disease. The number of patients examined was 200.
To obtain concise results, the doctors exposed a segment of the patients to take part in 60-minute physical activities sessions, 3 times per week, for 16 weeks.
The other half was subjected to regular treatment, without any work-out sessions.
The results were obvious. The doctors said that patients who engaged in sports were far less irritable, depressive, or anxious, thus, overcoming these neuropsychiatric symptoms.
The other study was conducted in North Carolina by researchers belonging to the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston Salem. To prove their point, they separated 65 patients from 55 to 89 years of age in two groups, one which would be assigned an aerobics training program, and the other which would be assigned only a stretching exercise program. These programs included sessions performed four times a week.
These patients had been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). All in all, the American scientists’ goal was to find out whether the protein in the brain responsible for causing and accelerating Alzheimer could be reduced.
So, after six months, results became noticeable between the two groups, whereas the protein levels had decreased significantly.
The last study was conducted in Canada by Professor Teresa Liu-Ambrose from the University of British Columbia. She studied the impact of physical activity on patients suffering from vascular cognitive impairment (VCI), an illness which is due to mini-strokes. These disease’s effects are a prominent cause for dementia among the elderly.
The methods were similar to those conducted in Denmark. Thus, a segment of patients would partake in an aerobic program for 60 minutes three times per week, while the other segment would be administered with traditional treatment. It is worth mentioning that the number of patients examined was seventy-one, aged 56 to 96.
Thus, the focus of the research of Prof. Liu-Ambrose proved fruitful, as the elders who were submitted to physical exercise actually improved their cognitive functions, including memory and selective attention, compared to those who were subjected to traditional care.
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