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Aerobic Exercise May Help Guard Against Dementia
Study found seniors with mild cognitive impairment saw gains in thinking, memory skills after six months of workouts

By Robert Preidt

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Aerobic exercise may strengthen memory and thinking skills in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a small study suggests.

People with mild cognitive impairment are at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease.

The study included 16 people, average age 63, who did aerobic workouts such as on a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical training. They worked out four times a week for six months. There was also a control group of 19 people, average age 67, who did stretching exercises four times a week for six months but no aerobic activity.

All of the participants had mild cognitive impairment. After six months, brain scans revealed that those in the aerobic exercise group had greater increases in brain volume than those in the stretching group, the researchers said.

Those in the exercise group also showed significant improvement in thinking and memory after six months, while those in the stretching group did not, according to the researchers.

The study was to be presented Wednesday at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting, in Chicago. Research presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary if it hasn't been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

"Even over a short period of time, we saw aerobic exercise lead to a remarkable change in the brain," lead investigator Laura Baker said in a RSNA news release. Baker is an associate professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C.

"Any type of exercise can be beneficial. If possible, aerobic activity may create potential benefits for higher cognitive functioning," said study co-author Jeongchul Kim, a researcher also from Wake Forest.

More information

The Alzheimer's Association has more on mild cognitive impairment.

SOURCE: Radiological Society of North America, news release, Nov. 30, 2016

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=716772

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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