When a cure hasn’t been found for a disease, our best hope is preventing it in the first place. That’s certainly the case with Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers are still working hard to find ways to slow and even reverse this condition, but they haven’t yet unlocked the secret. They have, however, made a lot of progress in identifying prevention tactics. One recent study has confirmed the effectiveness of a strategy that we’d assumed, but hadn’t confirmed, would help.
This study was conducted by researchers at UCLA Medical Center and the University of Pittsburg. They examined data from nearly 900 participants in the 30-year Cardiovascular Health Study and published their findings in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. By now, these participants are at an average age of 78, and they’ve been asked about many of their habits. The researchers have tracked their memories and analyzed their brains, all in hopes of uncovering patterns that can help in the prevention of the disease.
One such pattern had to do with exercise. The researchers found that the more physical activity the participants did, the larger their brain volumes were, which is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s. In fact, physical activity dropped their risk of Alzheimer’s by 50%!
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The best part is that it didn’t matter what type of activity the participants did, as long as they were moving. Gardening, dancing, running, and biking were all beneficial. About 25% of the participants had some mild cognitive impairment, but when they increased their activity levels, their brain volumes increased too, indicating that exercise may be helpful even if you feel your memory has already started to slip.
Lead author of the study, Cyrus A. Raji, MD, PhD, noted, “This is the first study in which we have been able to correlate the predictive benefit of different kinds of physical activity with the reduction of Alzheimer’s risk through specific relationships with better brain volume in such a large sample.”
Exercise seems to be one of the most powerful preventatives when it comes to avoiding Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. This study indicates that you can get that exercise any way you want. If you don’t like something, give a different activity a try. In fact, learning a new activity may give your brain a double boost, so you may want to try something you’ve never done before to add variety to your exercise program. Just make sure you’re moving for a few hours every week.
And if you really want to jumpstart your exercise program then I recommend you buy a Power Plate. I’ve talked about this innovative machine in the past. It’s clearly one of the most effective ways to exercise. And it's so easy and safe that even people who are frail or have disabilities can use it. It looks like a large scale you’d find in your doctor’s office. It’s proven effective in many different ailments. And if you are worried about Alzheimer’s, it’s definitely worth a try. You can get more information about the Power Plate and order by contacting the company directly at 855-611-5115. Make sure you mention the code SV-0416 when you call for a special price.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Cyrus A. Raji, David A. Merrill, Harris Eyre, Sravya Mallam, Nare Torosyan, Kirk I. Erickson, Oscar L. Lopez, James T. Beckere, Owen T. Carmichael, H. Michael Gach, Paul M. Thompson, W.T. Longstreth, Jr., Lewis H. Kuller. Longitudinal Relationships between Caloric Expenditure and Gray Matter in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, March 2016 DOI: 10.3233/JAD-160057