Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Daily Physical Activity Cuts Alzheimer's Risk

Daily physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, reports Aron Buchman, M.D., of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Rush University in Chicago. Buchman and colleagues attached devices that measure activity on the wrists of 716 older people 24 hours a day for up to 10 days and then followed them for an average of 3.5 years.

Participants with low total daily physical activity had more than twice the risk of developing Alzheimer's than those with high total daily physical activity, the researchers reported online April 18 in Neurology. The association remained even after adjusting for baseline physical, social, and psychological conditions. Because the device was attached to the wrist it measured physical activity that is not strictly exercise, like cooking or gardening, suggesting that such activities may benefit the elderly as well, noted an accompanying editorial. “[T]his study supports encouragement of physical activity at any age, including very old age.”

To read more about Alzheimer's disease research, see Psychiatric News here and here.

(Image: Alan Lucas/


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