Exercise can help you prevent it demintens – but only if for woman, finds a new study.
Researchers at the University of California.
They believe this may be due to the ‘type’ of exercises that men engage in, with older women more likely to participate in group exercises than their male counterparts.
Cognitive exercise is valuable for all, researchers found, with both sexes able to slow down the aging process by up to 13 years by participating in mental activities including reading, playing bingo and attending lessons.
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego, found that women who exercised were able to ward off brain decay by two years and nine months. The same was not observed in men (stock)
“We found that greater physical activity was associated with a greater reserve of thinking speed in women, but not in men,” said Dr. Judy Pa, neuroscientist at UCSD who led the study.
‘Because we probably have few to no effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, prevention is crucial. An ounce is worth a pound of treatment.
‘Knowing that people can potentially improve their cognitive reserve by taking simple steps, such as taking lessons in the community center, playing bingo with their friends or spending more time walking or gardening is very exciting.’
In the study – published Wednesday in the journal Neurology – Scientists evaluated the mental capacity of 758 people who were about 76 years old.
WHAT IS ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE?
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, in which the buildup of abnormal egg proteins causes nerve cells to die.
This disrupts the transmitters that carry messages, and causes the brain to shrink.
It affects about 920,000 people in the UK – a figure that will rise to 2 million by 2050.
When brain cells die, the functions they provide are lost.
This includes memory, orientation and the ability to think and reason.
The progression of the disease is slow and steady.
On average, patients live five to seven years after diagnosis, but some can live ten to 15 years.
Some had no thinking or memory problems, some had mild cognitive impairment, and others had dementia.
To measure mental activity, participants were given one point for whether they read magazines, books, or newspapers; went to classes; and played card games over the past 13 months.
And to measure physical activity, they were interviewed about what exercise they did each week.
They averaged about 1.4 points, and undertook activity that increased their heart rate by about 15 minutes each week.
Participants then had brain scans and underwent thinking and memory speed tests to evaluate their cognitive reserve – the buffer generated by the brain to cover decay.
Results showed that women who exercised more saw a protective effect on their brains that was not seen in men who also exercised more.
Scientists explain the results, written in the paper: ‘The sex-specific results … can be related to the types of activities that keep women engaged in men.
‘Although no differences were observed for card playing and reading behavior by sex, women reported higher levels of group-based classes than men.
‘Unlike card games and reading activities, group-based classes inherently include a social component that can differentiate cognitive capacities.’
Limitations in the study included that it was aimed at northern Manhattan, New York, meaning that it excluded people in rural areas.
About two-thirds of the participants were also women, while the rest were men.
It also did not measure social and structural factors, which the scientists said were ‘important determinants’ of mental capacity.
They said more studies were needed to determine whether exercise had a more preventive effect against dementia in women alone.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that regular exercise can reduce a person’s risk of developing dementia.
It recommends that all adults receive about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week – such as a bike ride or brisk walking – to stimulate brain health.
One paper published in December last year by researchers at the Queensland Brain Institute, Australia, found that there can be a ‘sweet spot’ to slow down cognitive decline.
IN runner up of researchers at the University of California suggested that daily walking or cycling may reduce a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Exercise can help ward off dementia for women – while men need more brain training Source link Exercise can help ward off dementia for women – while men need more brain training