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PHYSICAL EXERCISES AS TREATMENT OF DEMENTIA

Updated on September 11, 2013

PHYSICAL EXERCISE AS APREVENTIVE OR DISEASE- MODIFYING TREATMENT OF DEMENTIA AND BRAIN AGING

Dementia and cognitive injury have become a phenomenon among the old generation. Research shows that exercises and especially regular ones can ease or curb both Dementia and cognitive injury. Among the most common causes of dementia disease as identified by scholars are Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, vascular ailment, front temporal disintegration syndromes, and other disorders. Sadly, there is no cure that has been found in the medical sense that could cure effectively this problem of dementia or age-related cognitive injury. A study by Ahlskog and colleagues analyses if, bodily exercise can be employed in reducing the risk of dementia and brain aging among the older generation.

This study relied on scientific literature on the subject of exercise and cognition, including animal and observational studies. It also reviewed over 1600 papers, with 130 being directly on this topic. In his analysis, Dr. Ahlskog established that in the scientific sense, the amount of exercise needed to obtain brain benefits has not been clearly established. However, he noted that, exercise enough to raise the heart rate to about 60% of utmost, and made for about 150 minutes a week, would be a first rate suggestion. This finding concurs with those released by the American Heart Association which stated that “Resistance exercise, such as weight lifting, also has beneficial effects” Furthermore, findings of this result also revealed that normal aging is linked with brain contraction, and this seems to be largely ascribed by progressive loss of synapses and related neuronal associations (the 'neuropil') . Further findings from this study also established that considerable effects of regular exercise in humans have been well known and include the following: condensed succeeding risks for dementia and placid cognitive injury, enhanced scores on cognitive test in both ordinary seniors and those with cognitive problems, Well maintained brain connectivity, calculated by practical fascinating meaning imaging, and enhanced volumes of both brain cortex and hippocampus (an important memory area).

Ahiskog concluded that one can make a convincing argument that exercise is a modifying tactic to curb dementia and even cognitive injury, and for positively modifying these processes incase they develop.

Dimentia has been described by medics and researchers as the main threat to the older generation. Apart from influencing the quality of life on the afflicted patients, the immediate family members are also not spared, partners or children may as well be reduced into caregivers since the victims can no longer care for themselves. Financial constrains can also be realized among the family. Although no cure by medics have been found on dementia and cognitive impairment, Findings by Ahiskog have highlighted the importance of aerobic exercise on reducing the risk of dementia and brain aging.

The main problem of this study was however it’s methodology, relying mainly on scientific literature and observation, meaning that no case study was conducted. It could have been significant if case studies were conducted to ascertain the effects of physical exercises as a preventive treatment of dementia and brain aging with say, real victims. The findings from scientific reviews and observation can not however be relied on to provide clinical evidence on this subject. More clinical research is therefore needed on the association between exercise and cognitive utility.

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