Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Exercise and Alzheimer's

     If you Google exercise and Alzheimer's you will find all kinds of sites discussing the topic. It has been long thought that exercise can delay the onset of Alzheimer's and bring about improvements once somebody has Alzheimer's. About 900  studies have been done on exercise and Alzheimer's. None of these studies had a clear idea as to what actually happened to bring about improvement. They just find that there is some evidence that improvement occurs.

    I had read something on the Internet the other day on this topic but did not finish the article. This morning there was a column in my paper that filled in what I missed. The memory part of our brain keeps on producing more cells. The trigger for growing the new cells is exercise. So this is one of the first times that they have been able to put together a more concrete cause and effect. 

    Now there are various forms of dementia. Loss of memory is one of the factors. If memory can be increased by growing new memory cells some dementia could be alleviated. There's still lots more tricks that dementia throws at us.

    In the "Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain" Barbara Strauch deals with the topic.

    The Ontario Brain Institute has just mined 55 different studies on the effects of exercising. Recommendations advise that we exercise over a lifetime for 150 minutes a week.

    So there we are again! More reminders of the value of exercise.