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Can Exercise Cut Your Risk Of Dementia?

Can Exercise Cut Your Risk of Dementia?

Can Exercise Cut Your Risk of Dementia?. Strong bodies and strong minds go together. A recent study suggests that regular exercise can strengthen the brain and may cut your risk of cognitive decline and dementia down the road. To determine how physical fitness affects brain health, researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine studied the medical records of 6,104 older patients in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health system. They found that the more vigorously the patients exercised, the lower their risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other cognitive problems years later. The findings were published in February 2017 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The patients, average age 60 and nearly all men, were asked to run on a treadmill for as long as they could. Those who scored less than 6 metabolic equivalents on their treadmill test had a more than fourfold greater risk of cognitive impairment than those with scores higher than 12. Exercise fortifies the brain by directing blood flow and oxygen to the areas that control memory and decision-making, and distributes peptides and proteins that help produce neurons. “But even as little as 30 minutes of moderate levels of exercise a day can make a difference in overall brain health.”