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

Exercise-Benefits-for-Sedentary-Elderly

Picture taken from http://guardianlv.com/

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

 

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.