Lifestyle & Belief

Exercise lessens risk of dementia by half in older people, study claims


Elderly people work out with wooden dumb-bells in the grounds of a temple in Tokyo on September 17, 2012 to celebrate Japan's Respect-for-the-Aged-Day.



Older people can lower their risk of falling victim to dementia by more than half if they exercise for 30 minutes a few times a week, a study found.

Doctors in Europe found that people over 65 who exercised for a total of 90 minutes a week — less than recommended levels — lowered their risk of vascular-related dementia by 40 percent and impairment in brain skills by 60 percent, the Daily Mail reported.

Vascular dementia, according to CBC, is a type of non-Alzheimer's dementia caused by problems of blood flow to the brain.

The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, followed 638 people aged 65 to 84, whose brains showed early signs of dementia, but who reported no physical debilitation.

Almost 64 percent said they were active at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week, the Express reported.

Over a three-year period, during which time they had their brains periodically scanned, the subjects were assessed for cognitive ability.

The researchers found that exercise was associated with the lower rate of vascular dementia.

However, they also cautioned that the relationship might be read the other way: that people exercised less because they were suffering from cognitive impairment.

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