Aerobic training might be an answer to alzheimer’s disease(AD)

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Alzheimer’s disease(AD) is a neurodegenerative disease responsible for most cases of dementia in elderly population. A lot of trials with drugs are ongoing in order to find the prevention and cure of AD. But recent research have shown life style modification and behavioral changes to be as effective as drugs in the prevention of AD.

A study published in the journal of gerontology has shown 6 months of aerobic exercise effective in reducing the symptoms of AD in the elderly population.

This study used 6-month cycling intervention to older adults of a selected community with mild-to-moderate AD. The exercise was a standardized, supervised, and individualized, moderate intensity cycling for 15 to 45 min a session (excluding 10-min warm-up and 10-min cool-down activities), 3 times a week for 6 months.

The outcomes of this training regimen were evaluated by measuring the cognition, ADL(Activities of daily living), BPSD(Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia) and caregiver distress at the end of the experiment.

The data was collected from older adults with mild to moderate AD and they were followed up for 6 months. The results showed neither significant cognitive decline nor deterioration of the neuropsychiatric symptoms during the 6 month period. Also, aerobic exercise significantly reduced the stress in the caregivers.

There are other papers which have shown the benefit of exercise in neuropsychiatric as well as neurological disorders. Nevertheless, every research paper has its own limitations. But this finding that showed the effectiveness of exercise in preventing the progression of AD is very encouraging. Although, more detailed and precise research need to be done, opening of sports center for the elderly people to engage them in mild-moderate intensity aerobic exercise might be a good idea. Like they say prevention is better than cure, these type of sports center for elderly people might help in preventing AD, thus preventing the social as well and economic burden in the future.

For more details, see the reference article below:

Impact of 6-Month Aerobic Exercise on Alzheimer’s Symptoms                                     Fang Yu, William Thomas, Nathaniel W. Nelson, Ulf G. Bronas, Maurice Dysken,and Jean F. Wyman, Journal of Applied Gerontology published online 11 December 2013,DOI: 10.1177/0733464813512895

 

Dementia Prevention and Awareness

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Dementia is a common problem of the elderly population. There are about 40 million cases of dementia today. Alzheimer’s disease comprises more than half of the cases of dementia.This trend just seems to be unstoppable. According to the Alzheimer’s Disease International, it is set to treble worldwide by 2050 causing a global epidemic. Given that there will be a lot of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the health care budget will significantly rise. So, effort must be made to reduce the cost of dementia care by raising the dementia awareness and prevention strategies.

There is no established method for the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. But a small change in your diet or lifestyle can mean a lot for preventing dementia. New prevention strategies that are being studied are focused on lifestyle and dietary factors. Micronutrients like folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin D and magnesium are thought  to maintain and improve brain health.The results with turmeric and vitamin B are promising. Fish oil, which contains omega-3 fatty acid is also beneficial for the neurons. Similarly exercise has been shown to be effective in preventing amnesia associated with aging. Playing board games like chess, solving puzzles and cross words provides mental stretching to the brain. Experiments have shown these games to be helpful for the prevention of dementia.

Regular exercise, healthy diet and mental stimulation can also be called the three pillars of brain healthy lifestyle. Exercise increases blood circulation and reduces the cholesterol level. Healthy diet provides energy and prevents the formation of harmful chemicals in the brain. Games like Chess and Sudoku gives you the mental stimulation needed for keeping the brain active. And active brain helps in resisting degeneration of brain cells which is responsible for dementia.

For those wanting to know further details about dementia, find it on What is dementia? The signs, symptoms and causes of dementia – Medical News Today.

If you are worried about the recent cognitive decline or fearing that you might have dementia or Alzheimer’s Know the 10 signs of Alzheimer’s disease from Alzheimer’s association.

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Exercise for brain

Its a common problem in old age that we tend to forget different things. Amnesia, as its commonly called for forgetting things can be physiological(normal) or pathological(abnormal). Human cells are mortal, so are neurons. As we age, several unwanted chemicals tend to accumulate in our brain causing loss of neurons, or loss of connectivity between neurons. This is responsible for the memory loss and other cognitive problems that arises with old age

Many research have been done to halt the loss of neurons in old age.Several cognitive enhancers are available in the markets which boast their effectiveness. While the research for the drugs to cure this cognitive decline is being carried, several conventional methods are also being tried. Exercise being one of them.

Stretching Out

Stretching Out (Photo credit: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums)

There are many different results of exercise and brain research coming recently. The common result of all these research is that exercise definitely helps in maintaining your brain health. Exercise releases various growth factors from our body that are necessary for neuronal growth and development. Also it increases the blood flow to the brain, causing more transport of these growth factors to the brain for the neuronal development.

There are many studies studying different type of exercise and their effect in different aspect of brain functions. I want to suggest that don´t run after the discussions. As for me,every type of exercise is beneficial for brain, be it aerobic, anaerobic or strength training. So don´t shy away from exercise. But most studies have shown aerobic exercise in the form of walking and swimming to be more beneficial for brain. For those who exercise for the brain, walking is a better exercise than swimming. The contact between your leg and the ground while walking helps in release of a specific growth factor called VEGF that is one of the main player in maintaining the brain health.

And doing exercise in a natural environment rather than inside the sports hall is important for your brain. So jogging for some 30 minutes around your home daily might be helpful in maintaining your brain health and preventing the cognitive decline.

Go for it guys and all the best.