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Exercise best medicine Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease, also known as the "long goodbye", is a progressive brain disorder which prograssively destroys a victim's memory and ability to reason, make decisions, learn, communicate and carry out basic everyday activities. An Alzheimer's victim may change in personality and behaviour plus suffer from hallucinations and delusions. Life expectancy is shortened. Victims eventually become bedridden and reuires round the clock care until death. There is no known cure for Alzhermer's.

  • Improve mood
  • Improve sleep (People with Alzheimer's often have sleep disturbances such as becoming agitated at bedtime, wander at night or sleep fitfully)
  • Reduce likelihood of constipation
  • Maintain good motor skills
  • Improves strength, coordination and balance and thus reduce risks of falls and injuries (Alzheimer's patients are at higher risks of falls and fractures)
  • Reduce rate of disease-associated mental decline
  • Improve memory
  • Reduce likelihood of wandering away from home and getting lost, swearing and acting aggressively
  • Improve communication and social skills

  1. Mayo Clinic 2005: Walking 20 minutes 3 times a week can boost mood, decrease falls, reduce wandering, delay nursing home placement in people with Alzheimer's
  2. University of Washington, Seattle, US study, 2003: Exercise lessens depression and provides improved physical functioning in Alzheimer's patients
  3. Karolinska Institute, Sweden study, Lancet Neurology, October 2005: 20-30 minutes of exercise which is enough to cause breathlessness and sweating, 2 times a week, reduces risk of getting Alzheimer's by 60% and other types of dementia by 50%; and is especially beneficial for people with the gene apoe4, a known risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease
  4. University of Washington study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, cited in a BBC News article 17.1.2006: Regular 15-minute walk 3 times a week reduces risk of dementia and Alzheimer's even after the age of 65 and even frailer people. The more frail a person, the more exercise likely to help them
  5. University of California study, Journal of Neuroscience, 27 April 2005: Long term physical activities enhances the learning ability of mice and decreases the level of plaque-forming beta-amyloid protein fragments - a hallmark characteristic of Alzheimer's disease - in their brains
  6. Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences, March 13 2001: In a study of 193 people belived to have Alzheimer's disease, researchers found that people who participated in fewer leisure activities between the ages of 20 and 60 were 3.85 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's

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