Exercise prevents brain shrinkage in Alzheimer's patients
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 4, 2008
The brains of patients with mild Alzheimer's disease who are physically active shrink less than those who are not as fit, according to a study in the July 15 Neurology.
Researchers compared the brains of 57 Alzheimer's patients with 64 normal controls and assessed cardiorespiratory fitness. How physically healthy an Alzheimer's patient was correlated with whole brain and white matter volume, although this relationship was not found among the controls.
"People with early Alzheimer's disease may be able to preserve their brain function for a longer period of time by exercising regularly and potentially reducing the amount of brain volume lost," said Jeffrey M. Burns, MD, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City.
"Evidence shows decreasing brain volume is tied to poorer cognitive performance, so preserving more brain volume may translate into better cognitive performance."
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2008/08/04/hlbf0804.htm.