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Exercise Combats Cognitive Decline

Posted Dec 30 2010 9:55pm
Posted on 2010-12-30 06:00:00 in Brain and Mental Performance | Exercise | Healthcare and Public Policy |
Exercise Combats Cognitive Decline

Recognized as a major public health concern, cognitive impairment among the aging population is characterized by frequent falls.  In that previous studies have suggested a beneficial role for exercise in fall prevention, Teresa Liu-Ambrose, from the University of British Columbia (Canada), and colleagues studied the role of a strength training exercise program on cognitive function. Building on the Brain Power Study, which demonstrated that 12 months of once-weekly or twice-weekly progressive strength training improved executive cognitive function in women ages 65- to 75- years- old, the year-long follow-up study found the cognitive benefits of strength training persisted, and with two critical findings. The group that sustained cognitive benefits was the once-weekly strength training group, rather than the twice-weekly training group; the team found that the subjects engaged in once-weekly strength training were more successful at being able to maintain the same level of physical activity achieved in the original study.  Secondly, the researchers found that the economic benefits of once-weekly strength training were sustained 12 months after its formal cessation. Specifically, the researchers found the once-weekly strength group incurred fewer health care resource utilization costs and had fewer falls than the twice-weekly balance and tone group. 

Jennifer C. Davis; Carlo A. Marra; B. Lynn Beattie; M. Clare Robertson; Mehdi Najafzadeh; Peter Graf; Lindsay S. Nagamatsu; Teresa Liu-Ambrose.  “Sustained Cognitive and Economic Benefits of Resistance Training Among Community- Dwelling Senior Women: A 1-Year Follow-up Study of the Brain Power Study.”  Arch Intern Med, Dec 13/27, 2010; 170: 2036 - 2038.

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