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Exercise as it relates to Disease/Effects of exercise on cognitive abilities in elderly populations

The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Abilities in Elderly PopulationsEdit

BackgroundEdit

Although the decline in cognitive abilities as we age is widely variable, in general our cognitive abilities do decline in older populations.[1] Studies into the effects that exercise can have on this decline have been produced for decades [2] and have produced a wealth of knowledge on the subject. Exercise has been shown to positively effect the cognition of elderly adults (Adults of 60+ years and those with degenerative diseases of 50–60 years).

The Effects Exercise has on Cognitive AbilityEdit

Apart from the obvious benefits to the physical capabilities through increased fitness and physical function,[3] exercise has long been shown to have a positive effect on cognition. Activities such as aerobic fitness training can have a “robust and beneficial influence on the cognition of sedentary older adults”[4] (although this adaptation can be fairly specific). Not only has it been shown improve cognitive function but also decrease cognitive decline [5] and incidences of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s [6][7]

RecommendationsEdit

Recommendations for exercise in elderly populations (specific for improving cognition) align with those of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association of:

Aerobic activityEdit

Moderate-intensity 30 mins 5 days pw Vigorous-intensity 20 mins 3 days per week

Muscle Strengthening ActivityEdit

8-10 exercises on 2 or more non consecutive days per week using the major muscle groups

Benefits of Greater Amounts of ActivityEdit

Participation in exercise above the recommended Aerobic and Muscle Strengthing activity has increased benefits

Flexibility ActivityEdit

10 mins at least 2 days per week

Balance ActivityEdit

Some balancing activity should be included

[8][9][10]

Further readingEdit

About: The Human Internet http://exercise.about.com/health/exercise/mbody.htm

AgeWorks.com http://www.ageworks.com

Promoting Successful Ageing http://gero.usc.edu/AgeWorks/core_courses/gero500_core/successful_lect/#classA

The Cochrane Library http://www.thecochranelibrary.com/details/collection/2043267/Physical-activity-and-exercise-for-health-and-well-being-of-older-people.html

ReferencesEdit

  1. Riddle, David R., ed. Brain aging: models, methods, and mechanisms. CRC Press, 2010
  2. Colcombe, Stanley, and Arthur F. Kramer. "Fitness effects on the cognitive function of older adults A meta-analytic study." Psychological science 14.2 (2003): 125-130.
  3. Heyn, Patricia, Beatriz C. Abreu, and Kenneth J. Ottenbacher. "The effects of exercise training on elderly persons with cognitive impairment and dementia: a meta-analysis." Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation 85.10 (2004): 1694-1704.
  4. Colcombe, Stanley, and Arthur F. Kramer. "Fitness effects on the cognitive function of older adults A meta-analytic study." Psychological science 14.2 (2003): 125-130.
  5. Weuve, Jennifer, et al. "Physical activity, including walking, and cognitive function in older women." JAMA: the journal of the American Medical Association 292.12 (2004): 1454-1461.
  6. Larson, Eric B., et al. "Exercise is associated with reduced risk for incident dementia among persons 65 years of age and older." Annals of internal medicine 144.2 (2006): 73-81.
  7. Suzuki, Takao, et al. "Effects of multicomponent exercise on cognitive function in older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled trial." BMC neurology 12.1 (2012): 128.
  8. Nelson, Miriam E., et al. "Physical activity and public health in older adults: recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association." Medicine and science in sports and exercise 39.8 (2007): 1435.
  9. Haskell, William L., et al. "Physical activity and public health: updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association." Medicine and science in sports and exercise 39.8 (2007): 1423.
  10. Varela, Silvia, et al. "Effects of two different intensities of aerobic exercise on elderly people with mild cognitive impairment: a randomized pilot study." Clinical Rehabilitation 26.5 (2012): 442-450.