Exercise can help prevent dementia

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Canadian Joanne, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,975
    Toronto, Canada
    Just read this in the paper. It can be encouraging. Let me quote " Exercise may improve brain function because it boosts blood flow to areas used for memory.....The six-year study of 1.740 people, 65 and older, found those who exercised three or more times weekly had up to a 40 per cent lower risk for dementia than those less active."

    There's lots more but they're saying it's as simple as walking 3 times a week. :)

    Anyone else see this? The study was done in Seattle, USA and does seem to be a reasonable group, not the old lunatic fringe advocating who knows what.
     
  2. inmyname

    inmyname Guest

    if dementia is caused by some form of poisoning/toxin then its quite feasible that vigorous exercise will speed up the body systems to clear it of the poison

    Certainly my experience if i am affected by accidental alumnium ingestion
     
  3. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Canadian Joan
    I would be interested to know the background of the study group,as you say there are a lot of lunatic fringes out there
    Best wishes
    Norman
     
  4. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Hi all, on the walking front Lionel walked everywhere. Not madly fast, but he preferred to walk across town to his various areas of work, rather than take a bus or tube. When we first met, and for a few years he used to walk me into the ground. Diagnosed with dementia at 60, whilst he was still walking and working.

    Its the similar theory to excerising the brain. Until 6 months ago he was still attempting the crossword, and the first to answer the quizzes at the day centre.
    I do get a bit cross when I read these articles. Only my opinion, of course. Connie
     
  5. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Yep. Mum walked her dog regularly, and walked fast. Doesn't seem to have done her any good!

    Amy
     
  6. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi All,

    The potential link between exercise and reduced risk of some types of dementia has been the subject of research for a few years now.

    For example, there is a response to a 2004 study on the Alzheimer's Society's main web site: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Research/Research_in_the_news/040922walking.htm

    I hadn't read about the study that Joanne mentioned, but details can be found on the Alzheimer's Association (USA) web site: http://www.alz.org/News/06Q1/011706.asp

    Another article on this same study can be found on MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10877612/

    What is interesting about this last article is the quote by one of the study's author's:

    “It seems like we are delaying onset,” said Dr. Wayne McCormick, a University of Washington geriatrician who was one of the study’s authors. “The surprising finding for us was that it actually didn’t take much to have this effect.”

    So this study didn't include anyone who would have been a candidate for early onset (all participants over 65). And it doesn't appear to talking about preventing dementia, but reducing risk - which, for example, could mean first symptoms appearing at 80 when otherwise they could have appeared at 76 for a given individual (my invented numbers - only for example).

    It sounds like more studies need to be done to really understand the mechanism(s) that could enable exercise to reduce risks of developing dementia.

    Take care,

    Sandy
     
  7. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,975
    Toronto, Canada
    Sandy,
    You certainly read up more on it than I did. I simply read an article in my daily paper and I quickly & glibly dashed off my little post. More of an "Isn't this interesting?" kind of thing.

    Even delaying dementia for a little while would be good, since the population is aging so.

    Connie & Amy,
    Yes, my mother was a good walker also & did crosswords every day. I wasn't trying to say anything like "Walk & you won't get AD" or "Eat broccoli & you won't get cancer" - that's my particular peeve because my favourite aunt's favourite vegetable was broccoli & she died of cancer 3 years ago. I was just commenting on something that looked interesting. I didn't mean it to be absolute in any way. Sorry if I've upset anyone - it wasn't intended.

    Joanne
     
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
  9. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Not upset at all Joanne. Was going to add the comment that look might what have happened if she hadn't have walked!!

    Amy
     
  10. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    Hi Connie,

    Like Lionel my dad walked everywhere and took at least one very long walk every day - right up until he lost his sense of direction. Fit as a fiddle. I'm very dubious about this type of research. Just like a lot of other recommendations (e.g. eating healthly, getting the right type of vitamines), it definitely can't do any harm. But in my most humble opinion these preventative measures are more likely to lessen you chance of heart disease and other illness, not specifically dementia.

    Kind Regards
    Craig
     
  11. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    Exercise

    On another tack, we think that walking has a positive effect on Dad's cognitive function now. Basically any exercise that might help blood flow to the brain we notice improves his capabilities, whether that be walking, doing brain gym or just vigourously chewing bubble gum! :p

    As for exercise staving off dementia, oh i hope so! Absolutely sympathise with Connie's comments cos according to all these 'studies' Dad should never have got this disease, :rolleyes: but if exercise keeps dementia away....well I'm married to a gym owner and instructor and now Uni is finished I have time for training again, so dementia you can just kiss my gluteus maximus! ;)
     
  12. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    3,433
    Suffolk,England
    :D Oh Nat, you have such a perfect way with words, :) welcome back, I did miss you & the breath of fresh antipodean air you give us all!
     
  13. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Just wanted to add links to the following two sites.

    Mind Your Head is a section of the Alzheimer's Society's web site that outlines what can be done to reduce risks of developing dementia:

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Mind_your_head/index.htm

    The Health Warning section does a great job of explaining risk factors:

    Lowering your risk by changing your lifestyle does not mean that you can definitely avoid dementia.
    In spite of many claims to the contrary, there are no fail-safe ways to avoid dementia that we know of.
    There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.
    It is notoriously difficult to communicate ‘risk’ when it comes to health. We all know that there is a direct link between smoking and cancer – but not everyone who smokes gets cancer. The links between risk factors and dementia are even less clear-cut.
    There remains huge fear and ignorance surrounding dementia. Dementia is not something to be ashamed of. It is important that people with dementia are not blamed for developing it.
    Dementia is a condition that could affect any one of us.


    The US Alzheimer's Association has a similar section on their web site:

    http://www.alz.org/maintainyourbrain/overview.asp


    Take care,

    Sandy
     
  14. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,975
    Toronto, Canada
    On the bright side, if we keep ourselves very fit & still get AD, think of the fun our caregivers will have chasing us all over hell's half acre.

    The evil part of me is cackling.
     
  15. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    :rolleyes: :) :D to you Joanne, what you said made me smile, evil thoughts are fun and an oft needed release when trying to be a saint everyday for so many years.
    and for you Lynne, I give you..... <a twirl>....<a delightfully grand curtsy with a deep bow at the end>....and then a <mischevious wink as I pat my curstying butt> :p
     

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