Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

An Active Life Helps To Ward Off Alzheimer's

Date:
May 8, 2000
Source:
American Academy Of Neurology
Summary:
Keeping active outside work, either physically or mentally, in the midlife years may help prevent Alzheimer's disease, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 52nd Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA, April 29 - May 6, 2000.

SAN DIEGO, CA - Keeping active outside work, either physically or mentally, in the midlife years may help prevent Alzheimer's disease, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 52nd Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA, April 29 - May 6, 2000.

Researchers found that people with higher levels of non-occupational activities, such as playing a musical instrument, gardening, physical exercise or even playing board games, were less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease later in life.

"People who were less active were more than three times more likely to have Alzheimer's disease as compared to those who were more active," said Robert Friedland, MD, a neurologist at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland, OH, and primary author of the study.

This is the first study of its kind to examine levels of activity from at least five years before Alzheimer's symptoms appeared. The researchers used a questionnaire to collect data about participation in 26 activities - passive as well as intellectual and physical. The subjects were 193 people with Alzheimer's disease, with a mean age of 73, and 358 healthy people, with a mean age of 71.

Among the activities categorized as passive were watching television, social activities and attending church. Intellectual activities ranged from reading and painting to jigsaw puzzles, woodworking and knitting, whereas physical activity ran the gamut from gardening to racquet sports.

The healthy participants had been more active between the ages of 40 and 60 than had the patients with Alzheimer's, even after the data was adjusted to take into account differences, such as age, income, gender and education.

The study's findings also suggest that it is never too late to get started - at least as far as intellectual activities are concerned.

"A relative increase in the amount of time devoted to intellectual activities from early adulthood (ages 20 to 39) to mid-adulthood (ages 40 to 60) was associated with a significant decrease in the probability of having Alzheimer's disease later in life," said Friedland.

This study builds on previous work showing that people with Alzheimer's had been less physically active and had lower levels of educational and occupational achievement than people without the disease. This latest research, however, suggests that it doesn't take a doctorate to ward off Alzheimer's - an intellectually or physically stimulating hobby will also be helpful.

Passive activities, such as watching television, however, do not lower the risk for Alzheimer's disease.

"We believe public health measures should be instituted to enhance adult participation in physical and mental activities, and decrease participation in activities that involve little physical or intellectual stimulation, such as television," said Friedland.

The research suggests that the brain stimulation associated with intellectual and physical activities works against the neurodegeneration of diseases such as Alzheimer's. Although scientists cannot rule out the possibility that lower activity levels are themselves symptoms of the disease in its very early stages, Friedland believes that to be unlikely, because the study looked at levels of activity from at least five years before the onset of dementia.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 16,500 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit its Web site at http://www.aan.com. For online neurological health and wellness information, visit NeuroVista at http://www.aan.com/neurovista.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy Of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy Of Neurology. "An Active Life Helps To Ward Off Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000508082222.htm>.
American Academy Of Neurology. (2000, May 8). An Active Life Helps To Ward Off Alzheimer's. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000508082222.htm
American Academy Of Neurology. "An Active Life Helps To Ward Off Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000508082222.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins