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
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.