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Walking could be part of a healthcare plan to prevent Alzheimer's, study suggests

Published on 15/10/2010
New research suggests that walking just six miles a week could form a key part of a healthcare plan to prevent the onset of Alzheimer's and dementia.

A study has found that undertaking a relatively small amount of physical activity can help prevent the brain from shrinking in later life, something that causes memory loss in older people and can lead to dementia.

Scientists studied 299 dementia-free people, recording the amount of walking they undertook in an average week.

After a nine-year period, they scanned the brains of the participants to measure brain size.

It was found that those who walked at least 72 blocks per week, or roughly six to nine miles, had greater gray matter volume.

After a further four years, 40 per cent of the participants had developed cognitive impairment or dementia.

However, those who walked the most were half as likely to have developed memory problems.

"Brain size shrinks in late adulthood, which can cause memory problems. Our results should encourage well-designed trials of physical exercise in older adults as a promising approach for preventing dementia and Alzheimer's disease," said study author Dr Kirk Erickson from the University of Pittsburgh.

The study was published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Health
Walking could be part of a healthcare plan to prevent Alzheimer's, study suggestsNew research suggests that walking just six miles a week could form a key part of a healthcare plan to prevent the onset of Alzheimer's     tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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