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Elderly people can reduce risk of dementia by exercising and using a computer

Published on 02/05/2012

A US study has found that elderly people who took part in moderate exercise and used a computer were less likely to suffer memory problems that can be a pre-cursor to dementia.

Using the computer can reduce your chances of cognitive impairment

The team, from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, looked at 926 people between the ages of 70 and 93. Every participant filled out a questionnaire regarding their computer use and physical exercise within the past year.

The study then analysed the participant’s responses compared with their risks of having mild cognitive impairment.

Of the study participants who did not exercise and use a computer, 20.1 per cent were cognitively normal and 37.6 per cent showed signs of mild cognitive impairment.

Of the participants who both exercised and used a computer, 36 per cent were cognitively normal and 18.3 per cent showed signs of mild cognitive impairment.

The definition of moderate physical exercise included brisk walking, hiking, aerobics and strength training, but the participants did not stipulate how long they exercised for.

Dr Marie Janson of Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:

"This study adds to the growing evidence that lifestyle factors may have an impact on our cognition as we age.”

Study leader Dr. Yonas Geda said that the team has a lot more research to do in order to better understand their results. But he believes that the physical exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, and then the computer activity enhances the communication between nerve cells.

Dementia is considered a chronic condition, so it is unlikely to be covered by private medical insurance. For more information, compare health insurance quotes or speak to one of our advisors.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Health
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