We Accept All Credit Cards Except AMEX   Phone Orders Accepted 1-888-850-9110

AHealthyAlternative.com                      Back To Did You Know Directory    

Low Levels of Physical Activity
Linked to Vascular Dementia

A new study reports... 

Regular Walking May Significantly Cut Risk of Vascular Dementia

Older Couple Walking For Good Health

A recent study has shown that non-strenuous, regular physical activity can substantially reduce the risk for vascular dementia by more than 70%.
Vascular Dementia is a slow, progressive disease that reduces memory and cognitive function, similar to Alzheimer's disease.

Interestingly, it's not necessary for people to engage in strenuous activity. The researchers found that easy-to-perform, moderate activities such as walking, stair climbing and gardening actually provided as much brain benefit as themore rigorous, physically demanding activities.

Research scientists working at University Hospital S. Orsola Malpighi in Bologna, Italy, analyzed data from the "Conselice Study of Brain Aging" a population-based study involving 749 men and women, ages 65 and older. Conselice is a small, rural town in the Emilia Romagna region in northern Italy. The subjects were given an extensive cognitive assessment and were found to be free of any form of dementia when the study began. All of the participants but 23%  reported walking for exercise as part of their daily routine. Other moderate intensity activities included house and yard work, gardening, light carpentry and bicycling.

Four years later, the subjects had follow-up testing for dementia. At that point 86 cases of dementia were discovered, including 27 cases of vascular dementia with brain infarction (tissue death) due to lack of oxygen-rich blood, confirmed by a measurable neuro-imaging process. Those people who engaged the most regularly in moderate activity benefited the best when it came to retaining cognitive function.

Regular Walking Was Associated with a 73% Risk Reduction for Vascular Dementia... 

Other moderate activities lowered risk by 71% when comparing those who exercised most with those who engaged in the activities the least. 

Publishing their findings in the journal Neurology, the research team wrote that while their study did not prove a causal link, it was the first research to show a positive association between regular moderate activity and reduction in risk for vascular dementia. Their findings support other research studies that have shown better cognitive performance in more active, older adults.

Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's disease. The condition is not a single disease but, rather, relates to various effects from chronic reduced blood flow in the brain, eventually resulting in dementia.

A common problem of aging is the progressive change in blood vessels (vasculature). Cholesterol and other substances often accumulate in the blood-vessel walls, resulting in thickening and hardening and, thus, restricting blood flow to various regions of the brain.

When this occurs suddenly, the result is a stroke, but vascular brain damage may also develop over time, from chronic lack of oxygen. By definition, vascular dementia is characterized by a slow but progressive worsening of memory and other cognitive functions.

The researchers suggested that moderate exercise's cognitive benefits could be multifaceted. Improved cerebral blood flow and the reduction in cortisol and other "brain-toxic" stress hormones have many protective benefits. Exercise may also be a marker for a healthy lifestyle or even protect the brain, they suggested, simply through the mental and social stimulation of an active lifestyle.

Story Source: 
University Hospital S. Orsola Malpighi
Bologna, Italy  
Journal Reference:
Neurology, online: www.neurology.org 
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. You should read carefully all product packaging. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.
Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Copyright ©2000 - 2015 A Healthy Alternative, LLC. All rights reserved.