Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Maintaining Physical Activity Linked to Less Cognitive Decline in Older Men

27.12.2004


Longer and more intense physical activity may help people maintain their cognitive skills as they age, according to a 10-year study of elderly men published in the December 28, 2004 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.



The study reviewed the data of 295 men, born between 1900 and 1920, from the Finland, Italy and Netherlands Elderly (FINE) Study. Beginning in 1990, researchers measured the duration and intensity of physical activities such as walking, bicycling, gardening, farming, sports, odd jobs, and hobbies. Cognitive functioning was tested with the Mini Mental State Examination.

The study showed that over 10 years the cognitive decline in men who had reduced their daily physical activity by an hour or more was 2.6 times greater than the decline in men who maintained their activity.


Men who performed their daily physical activity with a lower intensity 10 years later had a 3.6 times stronger decline than men who maintained the intensity level. Men who engaged in activities of the lowest intensity had up to 3.5 times greater decline than men who participated in activities with a higher intensity. There was no decline among those who increased the duration or intensity of their activities.

Activities of medium-to-low intensity, such as walking three miles per day, was associated with less cognitive decline than the lowest-intensity activity like walking less than three miles per day. The benefit of the medium-to-low intensity activities is that it will be easier for people to participate in them and achieve favorable results, compared with activities with a higher intensity, according to study author Boukje M. van Gelder, MSc.

“Our study suggests that being physically active in old age could keep the brain fit,” said van Gelder, of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, the Netherlands.

Physical activity may improve blood flow to the brain and thereby reduce the risk of stroke, dementia, and cognitive decline. Activity may stimulate the neurogenesis, or growth of nerve cells, in the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in memory functions. This helps the brain build up a “reserve” to help prevent further mental deterioration.

Past studies have suggested a link between levels of activity and cognitive decline in the elderly, but differences in methodologies make it difficult to conclusively determine the relationship.

“The small number of healthy participants in the FINE study is a disadvantage but the study’s length is an advantage, and the results were consistent and significant,” said van Gelder. “Future research should include more extensive cognitive testing than the Mini Mental State Exam, which is reliable but is only a screening test.”

The FINE study is a part of the HALE project (Healthy Aging: Longitudinal study in Europe) and was supported by a grant from the European Union.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 18,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as epilepsy, dystonia, migraine, Huntington’s disease, and dementia.

Marilee Reu | American Academy of Neurology
Further information:
http://www.aan.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Spread of deadly eye cancer halted in cells and animals
13.11.2018 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

nachricht Breakthrough in understanding how deadly pneumococcus avoids immune defenses
13.11.2018 | University of Liverpool

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

NIH scientists illuminate causes of hepatitis b virus-associated acute liver failure

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

The unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs

14.11.2018 | Earth Sciences

NIH scientists combine technologies to view the retina in unprecedented detail

14.11.2018 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>