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Regular aerobic exercise not only improves physical health but also improves cognitive functioning, which might protect against Alzheimer's disease. Pixabay

Researchers have found that regular aerobic exercise not only improves physical health but also improves cognitive functioning, which might protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

“This study is a significant step toward developing an exercise prescription that protects the brain against Alzheimer’s disease, even among people who were previously sedentary,” said lead investigator Ozioma C Okonkwo from University of Wisconsin in the US.


For the study, published in the journal Brain Plasticity, researchers investigated 23 cognitively normal, relatively young older adults with a family history or genetic risk for Alzheimer’s. All patients had a sedentary lifestyle.

They underwent a battery of assessments, including cardiorespiratory fitness testing, measurement of daily physical activity, brain glucose metabolism imaging (a measure of neuronal health), and cognitive function tests.


This research shows that a lifestyle behaviour — regular aerobic exercise — can potentially enhance brain and cognitive functions that are particularly sensitive to Alzheimer’s disease. Pixabay

Half of the participants were randomly assigned to receive information about maintaining an active lifestyle but no further intervention.

The other half participated in a moderate intensity treadmill training program with a personal trainer, three times per week for 26 weeks.

Compared to the participants maintaining their usual level of physical activity, individuals assigned to the active training program improved their cardiorespiratory fitness, spent less time sedentary after the training program ended, and performed better on cognitive tests of executive functioning (but not episodic memory).

Executive function, an aspect of cognition that is known to decline with the progression of Alzheimer’s, comprises the mental processes enabling individuals to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully.

The participants’ improved cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with increased brain glucose metabolism in the posterior cingulate cortex, an area of the brain linked to Alzheimer’s.

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This research shows that a lifestyle behaviour — regular aerobic exercise — can potentially enhance brain and cognitive functions that are particularly sensitive to the disease.

“The findings are especially relevant to individuals who are at a higher risk due to family history or genetic predisposition,” Okonkwo said. (IANS)


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On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

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Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

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