Stay Active to Stay Sharp

Exercise may benefit the brain and reduce Alzheimer's risk

(RxWiki News) Need another reason to exercise? Reducing your risk of Alzheimer's may be as simple as working in the garden or taking a walk each day.

A new study found that virtually any type of aerobic physical activity may improve brain volume and cut the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by around 50 percent.

Researchers at UCLA Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh studied 876 patients in the 30-year Cardiovascular Health Study, across four research sites in the US.

Increased physical activity also appeared to benefit the brain volumes of the roughly 25 percent in the sample who had mild cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer's.

"This is the first study in which we have been able to correlate the predictive benefit of different kinds of physical activity with the reduction of Alzheimer's risk through specific relationships with better brain volume in such a large sample," said lead author Cyrus A. Raji, MD, PhD, of UCLA, in a press release.

This study, funded by the National Institute of Aging, was published March 11 in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. No conflicts of interest were declared.