Posted by WBHI on May 8, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Margery D. Rosen for AARP:
Rarely do you find neuroscientists, psychologists and physicians agreeing unequivocally on anything. But here’s an exception: They all say that exercise is hands down the single best thing you can do for your brain. “If we had a pill that could do what exercise does, its sales would put Viagra’s to shame,” says Laura L. Carstensen, director of the Stanford Center on Longevity and author of A Long Bright Future.
The latest research shows that people can continue to learn throughout life. Yes, brain volume shrinks slightly, and some cells die. But the brain continues to make new neurons and fine-tune their connections even very late in life.
Aerobic exercise “reduces the level of brain loss and keeps cognitive abilities sharp,” says John Medina, an affiliate professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington School of Medicine and author of Brain Rules. “It also slashes your lifetime risk of Alzheimer’s in half and your risk of general dementia by 60 percent.”
Posted by WBHI on May 2, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Chicago Tribune:
Researchers, doctors, drug and biotech companies, and medical institutions worldwide are urgently seeking to better understand the intricacies of brain function — and particularly to develop therapies to prevent or treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
But despite this substantial effort, no drug or therapy can beat the powerful effect that regular physical exercise has in preventing Alzheimer’s and improving brain function — even in those with Alzheimer’s.
One Mayo Clinic study showed that those who regularly engaged in moderate exercise five or six times a week in later life reduced their risk of mild cognitive impairment by 32 percent compared with more sedentary people. Those who began exercising at midlife saw a 39 percent reduction in the risk of mild cognitive impairment.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 28, 2013 in Helpful Thinking
by Caroline Cassels for MedScape:
A novel exercise program may improve physical and cognitive outcomes in patients who have dementia, with effect sizes greater than those achieved with dementia medications, new research suggests.
A pilot study showed the program, which integrates functional movement and mindful body awareness, improved patients’ cognitive and physical function and quality of life and reduced caregiver burden compared with usual care (UC).
“This very small pilot study provides preliminary evidence [this program] may improve cognitive function, quality of life, physical function and caregiver burden with effect sizes that are substantially larger than what is typically seen with currently available dementia medications,” principal investigator Deborah E. Barnes, PhD, MPH, University of California, San Francisco, and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, told delegates here attending the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 65th Annual Meeting.
According to the investigators, traditional exercise programs have been shown to improve physical function in individuals with dementia, but little is known about the effect of exercises that integrate functional movements with mindful body awareness, which may also affect cognitive function.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 12, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Nick McDermott for The Daily Mail:
It is not only our heart and waistline that benefit from lifelong exercise – our brains do too.
Undertaking physical activity four or more times a week from childhood helps improve brainpower in later life by up to a third, and could help stave off the onset of dementia.
While all adults suffer mental decline with greater age, scientists found regular exercise, such as playing sport, jogging, attending the gym or even a brisk walk with the dog, can have a protecting effect on the brain.
More than 9,000 individuals took part in a 40-year study from age of 11. Researchers quizzed them on levels of exercise at regular age intervals, and participants also undertook tests of memory, attention and learning.
Posted by WBHI on Mar 8, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
More than one in seven cases of Alzheimer’s disease could be prevented if people who are physically inactive started getting regular doses of exercise, a new report suggests.
The Ontario Brain Institute commissioned the research paper examining 55 studies on physical activity.
“This is the strongest evidence to date that physical activity makes a significant difference to the management and the development of Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Donald Stuss, president and scientific director of the Ontario Brain Institute, told reporters.
Study author Prof. Michael Rotondi of York University’s School of Kinesiology and Health Science in Toronto said they found people over age 65 who were physically active were about 38 per cent less likely to develop the degenerative brain disease than those who were physically inactive.
Posted by WBHI on Jan 24, 2013 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Science Daily:
Keeping active can slow down the progression of memory loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease, a study has shown.
A team of researchers from The University of Nottingham has identified a stress hormone produced during moderate exercise that may protect the brain from memory changes related to the disease. The work, funded by Research into Ageing (Age UK) and the University and published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, may also explain why people who are susceptible to stress are at more risk of developing the disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia affecting almost 500,000 people in the UK, the majority of who are over the age of 65. Symptoms can include memory loss, mood changes and problems with communicating and reasoning. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s and, although there are a few treatments available that can reduce the symptoms in some people, they cannot halt the progression of the disease.
Increasingly, there is evidence that physical and mental activity can reduce people’s chances of developing the disease or can slow down it’s progression but up until now it has been unclear how this happens.
Posted by WBHI on Nov 23, 2012 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Alexia Severson for Healthline:
We all know exercise is good for our bodies, but new research shows that an active lifestyle can also give our brains a boost and ward off the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
According to World Health Organization, more than 35 million people live with AD worldwide, and the prevalence of this devastating disease is expected to double by 2030. It is the most common cause of dementia and, for now, there is no cure.
The Expert Take
In this study, presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, Cyrus Raji, Ph.D., radiology resident at the University of California, researched the role of an active lifestyle on brain structure in patients with normal cognition and AD. Lifestyle factors he examined included: recreational sports, gardening and yard work, bicycling, dancing, and riding an exercise cycle.
Researchers used these factors, along with advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to help them understand the connection between an active lifestyle and gray matter volume, a key marker of brain health.
“Larger gray matter volume means a healthier brain. Shrinking volume is seen in Alzheimer’s disease,” Raji said.
by Dr. Deborah Yurgelun-Todd for She Knows:
Recent news reports say that stress might cause women’s brains to age more rapidly. Add that to nutrient-deficient diets, lack of exercise and daily exposure to toxins and it’s a perfect storm for mental function decline. But there are steps women can take to keep theirs brain active, strong and healthy.
Exercise your body for a strong mind
Twenty percent – that’s the proportion of blood flowing from the heart that goes to our brains. Exercise increases heart health, which in turn ensures your brain gets the oxygen and nutrients it needs. Perform exercises that increase cardiovascular health, such as aerobics, yoga and brisk walking.
Our brains consume a great deal of our bodies’ overall resources. The foods we eat directly impact the brain’s ability to function at the highest level. Eat poorly and your memory, attention and focus will suffer.
Posted by WBHI on Nov 2, 2012 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Janice Wood for PsychCentral:
Regular exercise may help older people reduce their chances of getting dementia, according to a new study.
Researchers found that older, non-disabled people who regularly engaged in physical activity reduced their risk of vascular-related dementia by 40 percent and cognitive impairment from any cause by 60 percent.
The researchers noted that the protective effect of regular physical activity remained regardless of age, education, changes in the brain’s white matter, and a previous history of stroke or diabetes.
“We strongly suggest physical activity of moderate intensity at least 30 minutes three times a week to prevent cognitive impairment,” said Ana Verdelho, M.D., lead author of the study and a neuroscience researcher at the University of Lisbon, Santa Maria Hospital in Portugal.
Posted by WBHI on Oct 22, 2012 in Great Minds Think Alike
by Salynn Boyles for WebMD:
Staying mentally sharp as you age may have more to do with working out than working on crossword puzzles, new research suggests.
People who stayed physically active into old age tended to have larger brains than those who did not exercise in the study, published today in the journal Neurology.
The brain typically shrinks in late adulthood, and this shrinkage is believed to play a role in age-related memory decline. The new research is the latest to suggest that exercise is good for the brain as well as the body.
“It is pretty clear that exercise is one of the most potent things we can do to protect our brain as we age,” says University of Pittsburgh exercise and aging researcher Kirk Erickson, PhD, who was not involved with the study.