Physical Activity Linked To Reduced Alzheimer's Risk

Reported by: Lauren Gawthrop
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Updated: 4/20/2012 7:36 am
It's never too late to reap the benefits of an active lifestyle. A new study finds daily physical activity, from washing the dishes to routine exercise, may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease at any age.

Researchers at Rush University in Chicago studied more than 700 people whose average age was 82. Each person wore a device that monitored their activity. Results show the people who were least active were two to three times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers say activities like cooking, washing the dishes, and cleaning count, and that even people over 80 can benefit - proving that its never too late to start.

"Even doing daily activities was measured and considered physical activity," says Dr. Ronan Factora of Cleveland Clinic. "Of course, the more you did and the higher the intensity of the activity, you actually got even more benefit. So, this really spoke to not being sedentary and living an active lifestyle and how that, in and of itself, can help reduce your dementia risk."

Dr. Factora says the study showed that the benefit of activity was universal regardless of mobility due to other health conditions.

Whether participants had a stroke, Parkinson's disease, or were considered obese - if they had the gene for Alzheimer's disease- it didn't matter. The physical activity still provided some level of protection from dementia.
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