Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Regular Exercise Improves Memory, May Delay the Onset of Dementia

Physical exercise may help improve memory in older people and delay the onset of dementia, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows. A University of Western Australia study has found that walking for 50 minutes three times a week can lessen memory problems for older people. The study involved 170 volunteers aged 50 and over who reported some memory trouble but who did not have dementia.

During the study some volunteers were asked to complete three 50-minute sessions of moderate physical activity (such as walking) a week for 24 weeks. The others did not exercise. After six months, the participants were given memory and other tests, including recalling lists of words. Those who exercised achieved better scores in tests of their cognitive function. The benefits persisted for at least another 12 months after the end of the exercise programme.

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