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Natural remedy for memory decline-Exercise

Harold Mandel's picture

Researchers say exercise may be associated with a small benefit for elderly people who already have problems with memory and thinking.


Memory decline with aging is a devastating condition. It has been encouraging to learn that exercise can help curtail memory decline in elderly people.

Exercise can help avert memory and thinking problems

The Alzheimer's Society reports researchers have found that memory decline in older people can be averted with exercise. There may be a minor benefit for elderly people who are already suffering from memory and thinking problems.

This study involved 70 people whose average age was 74. The study participants suffered from vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia and causes serious problems with memory and thinking skills. This results from damage which is done to both large and small blood vessels in the brain.

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In this study 50 percent of the participants took part in one-hour exercise classes. These classes were three times weekly over the course of six months. The other 50 percent of the participants were given information every month dealing with vascular cognitive impairment and a diet which is healthy. They were not given any information about physical activity.

The study participants were all tested at the start and end of the study. The tests included checking their overall thinking skills and executive function skills. These executive function skills deal with things such as planning and organizing daily activities. There was a small improvement seen in thinking skills in those participants who exercised in comparison to those who didn't exercise. Six months after stopping the exercise program the scores were the same as those participants who didn't exercise.

Staying active and good nutrition nurture brain health

Dr Doug Brown, who is Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society, has commented that we already have known staying active and maintaining a healthy diet is one of the most effective ways to lower your risk for dementia. Now we also know that there are modest improvements in memory and thinking with frequent exercise in people who already suffer from vascular dementia.

This study has been published in the journal Neurology. Researchers assessed the efficacy of a progressive aerobic exercise training program on the cognitive functioning and everyday functioning in adults who suffered from mild subcortical ischemic vascular cognitive impairment. There was preliminary evidence offered in this study of the
efficacy of progressive aerobic training for adults suffering from mild problems with memory and thinking. Clearly exercise along with good nutrition remain mainstays of intervention to help maintain good brain health.