Exercising can protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease

May 16, 2017
Kathleen Martin Ginis is a professor in UBC Okanagan's School of Heath and Exercise Sciences. Credit: UBC Okanagan

The evidence is clear. Physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, says a panel of researchers and not-for-profit leaders, led by UBC's Okanagan campus.

The researchers also confirmed that regular physical activity may improve the performance of daily activities for people afflicted with Alzheimer's. Their conclusions may have significant implications for the 1.1 million Canadians affected directly or indirectly by dementia.

"As there is no current cure for Alzheimer's, there is an urgent need for interventions to reduce the risk of developing it and to help manage the symptoms," says study first author Kathleen Martin Ginis, professor in UBC Okanagan's School of Health and Exercise Sciences. "After evaluating all the research available, our panel agrees that physical activity is a practical, economical and accessible intervention for both the prevention and management of Alzheimer's and other dementias."

Martin Ginis and her cohort reviewed data from more than 150 research articles about the impact of physical activity on people with Alzheimer's. Some of the work explored how physical activity improves the patient's quality of life and the others examined the risk of developing Alzheimer's based on the amount of activity in which an individual participated.

The panel concluded that improves activities of daily living and mobility in in with Alzheimer's and may improve general cognition and balance. They also established that older adults not diagnosed with Alzheimer's who are physically active, were significantly less likely to develop the disease compared to people who were inactive.

"This is exciting work," says Martin Ginis. "From here we were able to prepare a consensus statement and messaging which not only has community backing, but is also evidence-based. Now we have the tool to promote the protective benefit of to older adults. I'm hopeful this will move the needle on this major health concern."

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, characterized by progressive neurodegeneration that results in , compromised physical ability and loss of independence. The number of worldwide cases is expected to increase from 30.8 million in 2010 to more than 106 million in 2050.

Explore further: Exercise results in larger brain size and lowered dementia risk

Related Stories

Exercise results in larger brain size and lowered dementia risk

August 2, 2016
Using the landmark Framingham Heart Study to assess how physical activity affects the size of the brain and one's risk for developing dementia, UCLA researchers found an association between low physical activity and a higher ...

The link between memory perceptions and Alzheimer's risk

May 16, 2017
Over 20 percent of older adults suffer from subjective memory impairment, where a person reports having trouble remembering things with no evidence of actual memory loss. Now Penn State researchers are looking into the growing ...

Exercise study offers hope in fight against Alzheimer's

May 3, 2017
Could the initiation of a simple walking exercise program help older adults to reverse declines in key brain regions? A new study led by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers adds more information about ...

Five million american seniors now living with alzheimer's

March 8, 2017
(HealthDay)—Alzheimer's disease claims nearly twice as many American lives annually as it did just 15 years ago, according to the 2017 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, published March 7 by the Alzheimer's Association.

Lack of exercise might invite dementia

January 27, 2017
(HealthDay)—Parking yourself in front of the TV may make you as likely to develop dementia as people genetically predisposed to the condition, a Canadian study suggests.

Daily physical activity may reduce Alzheimer's disease risk at any age

April 18, 2012
Daily physical activity may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline, even in people over the age of 80, according to a new study by neurological researchers from Rush University Medical Center that will ...

Recommended for you

Canola oil linked to worsened memory and learning ability in Alzheimer's

December 7, 2017
Canola oil is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils in the world, yet surprisingly little is known about its effects on health. Now, a new study published online December 7 in the journal Scientific Reports by researchers ...

Genetics study suggests that education reduces risk of Alzheimer's disease

December 7, 2017
The theory that education protects against Alzheimer's disease has been given further weight by new research from the University of Cambridge, funded by the European Union. The study is published today in the BMJ.

Healthy mitochondria could stop Alzheimer's

December 6, 2017
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and neurodegeneration worldwide. A major hallmark of the disease is the accumulation of toxic plaques in the brain, formed by the abnormal aggregation of a protein called ...

Alzheimer's damage in mice reduced with compound that targets APOE gene

December 6, 2017
People who carry the APOE4 genetic variant face a substantial risk for developing Alzheimer's disease.

Lithium in water associated with slower rate of Alzheimer's disease deaths

December 5, 2017
Rates of diabetes and obesity, which are important risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, also decrease if there is a particular amount of lithium in the water, says the study, published recently in the Journal of Alzheimer's ...

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

December 5, 2017
A new Tel Aviv University study reveals that hyperbaric oxygen treatments may ameliorate symptoms experienced by patients with Alzheimer's disease.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.