What's Good For The Heart Is Good For The Brain!
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Hot off the presses ... Physically fit women are nearly 90% less likely to develop dementia!!!
Here’s more evidence that what’s good for your heart is good for your brain.
A Swedish study (published in the Mar. 14 2018 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology) finds that women who exercise into their 50’s and are fit at 50 are 5 times less likely to develop dementia as they age.
The research (at the University of Gothenburg) assessed 191 women and tracked them for 44 years, measuring their cardiovascular fitness on exercise bikes. It found that those with the highest fitness levels at the beginning had just a 5% chance of developing dementia in subsequent decades. This compared with rates of 25% among those who performed moderately. And when fit women did develop dementia, the onset came 11 years later, on average - at the age of 90 instead of 79.
The numbers were worse for those with low fitness and those who were so unfit they could not complete the tests. The latter group had dementia rates of 45% in later life.
The good news is researchers believe it’s possible that improving people’s cardiovascular fitness in middle age could delay or even prevent them from developing dementia.
Dr. David Reynolds, of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “By working with participants over many years, this study has highlighted how fitness in mid-life can help predict dementia risk years later. While studies like this can’t definitively show cause and effect, it adds to research suggesting that middle age is the key time for people to take steps to promote their brain health.”
He stated that boosting exercise did not have to mean major exertion - just fitting in exercise to a normal routine, like a jog or a brisk walk with friends. He suggested the best way to maintain good brain health was to “eat a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, not smoke, and keep blood pressure and cholesterol in check”.