How to avoid the onset of dementia
Aged Care Planning is very interested in the research study of the University of Sydney that looks at the ability of high intensity weight training to ward off dementia
The landmark study reveals that resistance training improves the mental abilities of older people with mild cognitive impairment – a common precursor to dementia.
Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh, a geriatrician from the Faculty of Health Sciences and the study's chief investigator, says the research demonstrates the potential of exercise to reduce dementia risk.
"We know weight training stimulates hormones that make muscles grow and it's possible these hormones are also having similar benefits for brain function," Professor Fiatarone Singh says.
Participants in the study who did six months of weight training showed significant improvements in overall cognitive function, in particular with abilities related to planning, organising and devising strategies, and visual memory. These improvements were still present 12 months after supervised training stopped.
"The next step is to see how long this lasts and who benefits most from such exercise," Professor Fiatarone Singh says.
The researchers will follow the group for up to five years to see if they were able to delay or even prevent the onset of dementia.
According to Professor Fiatarone Singh, dementia is one of the biggest challenges facing the healthcare system globally.
"Current predictions suggest 135 million people will be affected by dementia by 2050, but if a simple cost effective exercise intervention can show this much promise, I think further research could dramatically reduce that number," she says.
Aged Care Planning are currently developing an exercise program into the home and will announce launch plans soon. This is further evidence of the significant benefits of such a program for our older loved ones and it is never too late to start especially when the program can come to you. If you are interested in this service please make contact with us through the contact section on this website.
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