Aerobic exercise may help older women at risk for dementia - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Aerobic exercise may help older women at risk for dementia

Updated: April 9, 2014 02:31 PM
© Comstock Images / Getty Images / Thinkstock © Comstock Images / Getty Images / Thinkstock
  • HealthMore>>

  • Most adults are members of 'clean plate club'

    Most adults are members of 'clean plate club'

    Unlike children, the vast majority of adults finish all of the food they put on their plate at mealtime, according to a new study.
    Unlike children, the vast majority of adults finish all of the food they put on their plate at mealtime, according to a new study.
  • The 'Hobby Lobby ruling' and what it means for U.S. health care

    The 'Hobby Lobby ruling' and what it means for U.S. health care

    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on contraception coverage -- as mandated under the Affordable Care Act -- could lead to a legal quagmire that might allow companies to deny insurance coverage for any medical practice that violates their religious principles.
    The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on contraception coverage -- as mandated under the Affordable Care Act -- could lead to a legal quagmire that might allow companies to deny insurance coverage for any medical practice that violates their religious principles.
  • Diet changes can alter gut bacteria

    Diet changes can alter gut bacteria

    Dietary changes can dramatically alter the balance of bacteria in the gut on a daily basis, according to a new study.
    Dietary changes can dramatically alter the balance of bacteria in the gut on a daily basis, according to a new study.

WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Regular aerobic workouts increase the size of the brain's memory area in older women and may help slow the progression of dementia, according to a small new study.

It included 86 women, aged 70 to 80, who had mild memory problems, also known as "mild cognitive impairment," which researchers say is a common risk factor for dementia. The women also underwent MRIs to assess the size of their hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning.

The study, conducted by Teresa Liu-Ambrose and her colleagues at the physical therapy department of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, was published online April 8 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

For six months, the women did twice weekly hour-long sessions of either aerobic exercise (brisk walking); resistance training such as weights, lunges and squats, or balance and muscle toning exercises.

Twenty-nine of the women had their hippocampus size checked again after completing these exercise programs. Those who did the full six months of aerobic training showed significant enlargement of the hippocampus, but this change did not occur in those from the other groups, according to a journal news release.

However, there was some indication that the increase in hippocampus size was associated with poorer verbal memory, the researchers reported.

This suggests that the link between brain volume and mental abilities is complex and requires more research, the authors said. While the study found an association between aerobic exercise and hippocampus size, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

However, the authors said that the findings do indicate that aerobic exercise does slow the shrinkage of the hippocampus in women who are at risk of developing dementia. They recommended regular aerobic exercise to keep mild cognitive impairment at bay.

A new case of dementia is diagnosed worldwide every four seconds, and the number of people with dementia is expected to rise to more than 115 million by 2050, according to the researchers.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about dementia.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

1732 Valley View Dr.
Birmingham, AL 35209

Telephone: 205.933.1313
Fax: 205.323.3314
Email: newstips@alabamas13.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.