A recent study suggests that that exercising four times a week could reverse the early stages of dementia. The Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina studied volunteers aged 55 to 89 over a 6 month period, having them exercise four times a week for 45 minutes.
The participants, all suffering with mild cognitive impairment, often the first stage of dementia, showed improvements in their planning ability, multi-tasking and daily activities. Blood flow to the brain increased and they had lower Tau protein levels. This protein attacks the brain and is thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s disease.
The study included a control group who only did gentle stretching exercises and experienced none of the benefits shown in the group which exercised.
It is the first time experts have found such strong evidence suggesting that exercise can be used to treat dementia.
Professor Laura Baker, of Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina will repeat the trial using 200 scientists and thousands of patients across America.
Dr James Pickett, of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: This research suggests that it’s never too late to take up exercise when you can.”