Researchers have discovered that exercise can help prevent the development of dementia.
According to a study recently published in the Swedish Neurology journal, middle-aged women who were highly physically active, had a much higher chance of avoiding developing dementia, compared to other middle-aged women who were only moderately physically active.
The Swedish study monitored 200 women around the age of 50 and looked at how their levels of fitness affect their brains.
The study started off by testing each woman to determine her fitness level – low, medium or high. This was done by a bicycle test and for 44 years, the women performed dementia tests six times. The results showed that 44 of 191 women had indeed developed dementia – however, only five per cent of the high fitness level group had dementia. That was in contrast to 25 per cent of the moderate fitness group and 32 per cent of the low fitness group.
Overall, the women in the high fitness group were found to be 88 per cent less likely to develop dementia.
However, there were some limitations in the study, such as the small number of women which made up the sample. Thus, more research is required to find out if the same findings are applicable in much larger and diverse groups.
Dementia is a term that is used to describe many neurological conditions where loss of brain function occurs, as a result of damaged brain cells. The progressive disease can affect anyone but is more common in people aged 65 and over.
According to the experts at House Call Doctordementia affects many people. Especially in recent years, there has been a large increase of people suffering from dementia. This means that as our population grows, so does the number of cases.
There is approximately 5.4 million people in the U.S. who are estimated to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, related to dementia. According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Alzheimer’s is rated as the sixth leading cause in deaths amongst most adults.
Currently, there is no way to cure or even prevent dementia, although some medications are said to reduce some symptoms. There are also many causes and triggers for dementia.
Overall, the findings discovered by the Swedish study greatly adds to the theory that cardiovascular fitness can help prevent dementia.