Simple exercises improve cognition in older patients

Bloomberg News reported on the findings of “several new studies” that “simple exercise, such as walking and resistance training, improved thinking and memory in older adults.”

HealthDay reported that one of these studies found that “normally sedentary older adults who walked at a moderate pace three times a week for a year boosted the size of the brain region involved with memory.”

In addition, a second study discovered that “twice-weekly resistance (weight) training helped women with mild signs of mental decline improve their scores on thinking and memory tests,” while a third study demonstrated that strength and balance exercises may also improve memory.

As HealthDay notes, these studies were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association annual meeting in Vancouver.

Medscape describes the three studies at the Alzheimer’s Association meeting in Vancouver as well, and also mentions a fourth one in which the results “showed that both men and women with amnestic MCI [mild cognitive impairment] demonstrated significant improvements in language scores after completing a combination exercise program vs. a health education program.”

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the “peer review” process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

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