1 in 7 Alzheimer’s Cases Could Be Prevented with Exercise

April 18, 2013
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A team of researchers from the Ontario Brain Institute reviewed 871 research articles on exercise and Alzheimer’s conducted over the last 50 years. They then closely examined the 45 most comprehensive studies, pooling the data for their analysis.

A team of researchers from the Ontario Brain Institute reviewed 871 research articles on exercise and Alzheimer’s conducted over the last 50 years. They then closely examined the 45 most comprehensive studies, pooling the data for their analysis.
 
They found that more than one out of every seven cases of Alzheimer’s disease could be prevented by increasing the amount of physical activity an individual performs. The research finds that as little as 30 minutes of light exercise can lower the risk of an individual developing Alzheimer’s.
 
In 2011, approximately 15% of older adults (65 y+) in Ontario were living with some form of cognitive impairment or dementia, an estimated 60%-70% of whom had Alzheimer’s disease.
 
Within older adults with Alzheimer’s disease, regular physical activity improved quality of life
(QOL), activities of daily living (ADL), and decreased the occurrence of depression. In older adults without Alzheimer’s disease, those who were very physically active were almost 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as those who were inactive. 
 
At the population level, it was observed that more than 1 in 7 cases of Alzheimer’s disease
could be prevented if everyone who is currently inactive were to become physically active at a level consistent with current activity recommendations.