Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exercise associated with preventing, improving mild cognitive impairment

Date:
January 14, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Moderate physical activity performed in midlife or later appears to be associated with a reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment, whereas a six-month high-intensity aerobic exercise program may improve cognitive function in individuals who already have the condition, according to two reports.

Moderate physical activity performed in midlife or later appears to be associated with a reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment, whereas a six-month high-intensity aerobic exercise program may improve cognitive function in individuals who already have the condition, according to two reports in the January issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Mild cognitive impairment is an intermediate state between the normal thinking, learning and memory changes that occur with age and dementia, according to background information in one of the articles. Each year, 10 percent to 15 percent of individuals with mild cognitive impairment will develop dementia, as compared with 1 percent to 2 percent of the general population. Previous studies in animals and humans have suggested that exercise may improve cognitive function.

In one article, Laura D. Baker, Ph.D., of the University of Washington School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, and colleagues report the results of a randomized, controlled clinical trial involving 33 adults with mild cognitive impairment (17 women, average age 70). A group of 23 were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise group and exercised at high intensity levels under the supervision of a trainer for 45 to 60 minutes per day, four days per week. The control group of 10 individuals performed supervised stretching exercises according to the same schedule but kept their heart rate low. Fitness testing, body fat analysis, blood tests of metabolic markers and cognitive functions were assessed before, during and after the six-month trial.

A total of 29 participants completed the study. Overall, the patients in the high-intensity aerobic exercise group experienced improved cognitive function compared with those in the control group. These effects were more pronounced in women than in men, despite similar increases in fitness. The sex differences may be related to the metabolic effects of exercise, as changes to the body's use and production of insulin, glucose and the stress hormone cortisol differed in men and women.

"Aerobic exercise is a cost-effective practice that is associated with numerous physical benefits. The results of this study suggest that exercise also provides a cognitive benefit for some adults with mild cognitive impairment," the authors conclude. "Six months of a behavioral intervention involving regular intervals of increased heart rate was sufficient to improve cognitive performance for an at-risk group without the cost and adverse effects associated with most pharmaceutical therapies."

In another report, Yonas E. Geda, M.D., M.Sc., and colleagues at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., studied 1,324 individuals without dementia who were part of the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. Participants completed a physical exercise questionnaire between 2006 and 2008. They were then assessed by an expert consensus panel, who classified each as having normal cognition or mild cognitive impairment.

A total of 198 participants (median or midpoint age, 83 years) were determined to have mild cognitive impairment and 1,126 (median age 80) had normal cognition. Those who reported performing moderate exercise -- such as brisk walking, aerobics, yoga, strength training or swimming -- during midlife or late life were less likely to have mild cognitive impairment. Midlife moderate exercise was associated with 39 percent reduction in the odds of developing the condition, and moderate exercise in late life was associated with a 32 percent reduction. The findings were consistent among men and women.

Light exercise (such as bowling, slow dancing or golfing with a cart) or vigorous exercise (including jogging, skiing and racquetball) were not independently associated with reduced risk for mild cognitive impairment.

Physical exercise may protect against mild cognitive impairment via the production of nerve-protecting compounds, greater blood flow to the brain, improved development and survival of neurons and the decreased risk of heart and blood vessel diseases, the authors note. "A second possibility is that physical exercise may be a marker for a healthy lifestyle," they write. "A subject who engages in regular physical exercise may also show the same type of discipline in dietary habits, accident prevention, adherence to preventive intervention, compliance with medical care and similar health-promoting behaviors."

Future study is needed to confirm whether exercise is associated with the decreased risk of mild cognitive impairment and provide additional information on cause and effect relationships, they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Laura D. Baker; Laura L. Frank; Karen Foster-Schubert; Pattie S. Green; Charles W. Wilkinson; Anne McTiernan; Stephen R. Plymate; Mark A. Fishel; G. Stennis Watson; Brenna A. Cholerton; Glen E. Duncan; Pankaj D. Mehta; Suzanne Craft. Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Controlled Trial. Arch Neurol, 2010; 67 (1): 71-79 [link]
  2. Yonas E. Geda; Rosebud O. Roberts; David S. Knopman; Teresa J. H. Christianson; V. Shane Pankratz; Robert J. Ivnik; Bradley F. Boeve; Eric G. Tangalos; Ronald C. Petersen; Walter A. Rocca. Physical Exercise, Aging, and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Population-Based Study. Arch Neurol, 2010; 67 (1): 80-86 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Exercise associated with preventing, improving mild cognitive impairment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111161929.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, January 14). Exercise associated with preventing, improving mild cognitive impairment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111161929.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Exercise associated with preventing, improving mild cognitive impairment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111161929.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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