Regular exercise of any type from the age of 40 can prevent Alzheimer’s in later stages of life, hints a 20-year research study conducted by University of Melbourne.
Being physically active and indulging in regular exercise of any type or intensity- from walking to mountain climbing is the best lifestyle change a middle-aged person can incorporate to prevent memory loss in their later phases of life. Experts say that exercise can helps prevent the cognitive decline which is usual in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease
According to Assoc Prof Cassandra Szoeke’s study, exercise of any form basically counteracts 20 years of ageing. “The message from our study is very simple. Do more physical activity, it doesn’t matter what, just move more and more often. It helps your heart, your body and prevents obesity and diabetes and now we know it can help your brain.”
From 1992, the Melbourne team examined 387 Australian women from the Women’s Healthy Ageing Project aged 45 to 55-years-old for twenty years. The researchers considered their lifestyle factors including exercise and diet for the project.
For the study, the women were also asked to memorize 10 unrelated words, and were asked to recollect them after 30 minutes. This is known as Episodic Verbal Memory test, and these women were tested on 11 occasions.
When measuring the amount of memory loss, the researchers found that those who exercised frequently have prevented the memory loss to great extent, and their frequent physical activity, normal blood pressure and high good cholesterol were strongly linked to their positive results.
Assoc Prof Szoeke says that the message from the reports of exact test scores is to start exercising as soon as possible. “There is no stipulation we are making on the physical activity people do. It is being active, and the optimal effect comes from being active seven days a week.”
“If you don’t start at 40, you could miss one or two decades of improvement to your cognition because every bit helps. That said, even once you’re 50 you can make up for lost time,” she further added.
The findings were published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, and the study was funded by by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Alzheimer’s Association