Latest Info on Alzheimer’s Prevention

Thursday, April 19, 2012 // Uncategorized

Here’s Journal Watch’s report on an article in Neurology which further supports the efficacy of exercise in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Following that is the abstract from Neurology.  Keep exercising.  It helps at any age.

Physical Activity in Advanced Age Associated with Lower Alzheimer’s Risk
Daily physical activity is associated with reduced risk for Alzheimer disease among the elderly, according to a Neurology study.
Roughly 700 adults (average age, 82) free of dementia wore actigraphs on their wrists 24 hours a day for up to 10 days to measure their daily physical activity. Over a mean 3.5 years’ follow-up, 10% were diagnosed with Alzheimer disease.
Participants in the lowest decile of physical activity had more than twice the Alzheimer’s risk as those in the highest decile. The results remained significant after adjustment for self-reported physical, social, and cognitive activities. More physical activity on actigraphy was also associated with less cognitive decline.
Editorialists conclude: “In a world that is becoming progressively sedentary, and in the context of very limited success of the currently available medications to treat or delay AD, physical activity provides a promising, low-cost, easily accessible, and side-effect-free means to prevent AD.”

Total daily physical activity and the risk of AD and cognitive decline in older adults

  1. A.S. Buchman, MD,
  2. P.A. Boyle, PhD,
  3. L. Yu, PhD,
  4. R.C. Shah, MD,
  5. R.S. Wilson, PhD and
  6. D.A. Bennett, MD


  1. From the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center (A.S.B., P.A.B., L.Y., R.C.S., R.S.W., D.A.B.), Neurological Sciences (A.S.B., L.Y., D.A.B.), and Department of Family Medicine (P.A.B., R.C.S.), Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL.

Ceregene, Inc.; Danone Research B.V.; Eisai, Inc.; Elan Pharmaceuticals,Inc.; Merck & Co., Inc.; Metabolic Solutions Development Company; Pamlab, L.L.C.; Orasi, Inc.; Pfizer, Inc.

Research Support, Government Entities:

  1. NIH P30 AG101061, Education and Information Transfer Core Leader, Clinical Core Coinvestigator; NIH P01 AG009466, Coinvestigator, Administrative Core; NIH R01 NR009543, Coinvestigator; NIH R01 AG11101, Coinvestigator; NIH R01 AG029824, Coinvestigator; NIH U01 AG010483, Site Investigator; NIH U01 AG029824, Coinvestigator, Site Investigator; NIH U01 AG024904, Site Coinvestigator; Illinois Department of Public Aid Alzheimer’s Disease Assistance Center.


Objective: Studies examining the link between objective measures of total daily physical activity and incident Alzheimer disease (AD) are lacking. We tested the hypothesis that an objective measure of total daily physical activity predicts incident AD and cognitive decline.

Methods: Total daily exercise and nonexercise physical activity was measured continuously for up to 10 days with actigraphy (Actical® ; Philips Healthcare, Bend, OR) from 716 older individuals without dementia participating in the Rush Memory and Aging Project, a prospective, observational cohort study. All participants underwent structured annual clinical examination including a battery of 19 cognitive tests.

Results: During an average follow-up of about 4 years, 71 subjects developed clinical AD. In a Cox proportional hazards model adjusting for age, sex, and education, total daily physical activity was associated with incident AD (hazard ratio = 0.477; 95% confidence interval 0.273–0.832). The association remained after adjusting for self-report physical, social, and cognitive activities, as well as current level of motor function, depressive symptoms, chronic health conditions, and APOE allele status. In a linear mixed-effect model, the level of total daily physical activity was associated with the rate of global cognitive decline (estimate 0.033, SE 0.012, p = 0.007).

Conclusions: A higher level of total daily physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of AD.

  • Received September 13, 2011.
  • Accepted December 8, 2011.
  • Copyright © 2012 by AAN Enterprises, Inc.

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