Tuesday August 20, 2019

Regular Exercise to Help Prevent Development of Physical Signs of Alzheimer’s

For the results, the research team conducted three studies--in the first study, the researchers examined 317 participants enrolled in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention

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Our research shows that in a late-middle-age population at risk for Alzheimer's disease, physically active individuals experience fewer age-related alterations in biomarkers associated with the disease. Pixabay

Regular exercise is not only good for memory as people age, but it also appears to help prevent the development of physical signs of Alzheimer’s, in those who are at risk for the disease, says a study.

“Our research shows that in a late-middle-age population at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, physically active individuals experience fewer age-related alterations in biomarkers associated with the disease, as well as memory and cognitive functioning,” said Ozioma Okonkwo, Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin.

For the results, the research team conducted three studies–in the first study, the researchers examined 317 participants enrolled in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention, an ongoing observational study of more than 1,500 people with a history of parents with probable Alzheimer’s dementia.

In the second study, researchers studied 95 people, also from the registry, who were given scores called polygenic risk scores, based on whether they possessed certain genes associated with Alzheimer’s.

Exercise, Development, Alzheimer
Regular exercise is not only good for memory as people age, but it also appears to help prevent the development of physical signs of Alzheimer’s, in those who are at risk for the disease, says a study. Pixabay

Similarly, the third study examined MRIs from 107 individuals from the registry who were asked to run on a treadmill to determine their oxygen uptake efficiency slope, a measure of aerobic fitness.

Participation in the registry included an initial assessment of biological, health and lifestyle factors associated with the disease and follow-up assessments every two to four years.

All participants completed a questionnaire about their physical activity and underwent neuropsychological testing and brain scans to measure several biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers compared data from individuals younger than 60 years with older adults and found a decrease in cognitive abilities as well as an increase in biomarkers associated with the disease in older individuals.

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However, the effects were significantly weaker in older adults who reported engaging in the equivalent of at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week.

“The most interesting part of our research is that we now show evidence that lifestyle habits – in this case regular, moderate exercise – can modify the effect of what is commonly considered a non-modifiable risk factor for Alzheimer’s, in this case, aging,” Okonkwo said.

“Overall, these studies suggest that the negative effect of aging and genetic risk on Alzheimer’s’ disease biomarkers and cognition can be lessened in physically active, older adults at risk for the disease compared with their less active peers.” (IANS)

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Exercise More for Better Fitness After Retirement: Study

While retirement can free up time, deteriorating health and wellbeing often become a new barrier. That is why it is so important to maintain fitness in the lead up to retirement

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Good habits
Exercising regularly can keep your brain healthy. VOA

Middle-aged people over 55 years of age in particular should be doing more to keep fit as they approach retirement age because of the physical, mental and social benefits of being active, says a study.

“Adults are spending more years of their life working than ever before. Retiring is a life-changing event which provides all sorts of opportunities – but it coincides with declining physical activity, health and wellbeing,” said the study’s lead author Charlotte Salter from the University of East Anglia in England.

“From the age of around 55, people begin thinking about retirement and making plans for their future,” Salter said.

For the study, researchers worked to gather insight about the relationship between retirement and physical activity.

More than 1,000 over-55s took part in an online ‘Physical Activity and Retirement Transitions’ survey about their physical activity levels and expectations and experiences of retirement.

The research team also held focus groups and interviews with people at retirement age about staying physically active.

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Evening exercise increases whole-body energy expenditure for an extended period of time. Pixabay

“In order to enjoy a fit and healthy retirement, a really key thing is that people need to maintain their physical fitness through their fifties and beyond.

“But we found that there are many barriers to this – from poor health, lack of motivation and the cost and availability of sports, activities and fitness classes, to not having enough time – due to work or in many cases because of caring responsibilities,” Salter added.

The report showed how employers and healthcare providers could do more to promote physical fitness to people over 55. And that sports centres and community fitness projects could also play more of a part in encouraging healthy ageing.

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While retirement can free up time, deteriorating health and wellbeing often become a new barrier. That is why it is so important to maintain fitness in the lead up to retirement.

“There is no one-size-fits all approach. But we found that activity that is combined with socialising, or other purposeful actions such as dog walking, gardening, housework, childcare or volunteering, were all good ways for over-55s to remain active,” she added. (IANS)