Active lifestyle 'could cut Alzheimer's risk'

26 November 2012

Leading an active lifestyle could cut the risk of Alzheimer's disease in older adults, according to new research.

A study conducted at the University of California in Los Angeles looked at the brain structure of 876 adults with the average age of 78, with the condition of the participants ranging from normal cognition to Alzheimer's dementia.

Researchers took 20 years of clinical data from the group, including body mass index and lifestyle habits, like recreational sports, gardening and yard work, cycling and dancing.

They also used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a technique called voxel-based morphometry to explore the relationship between energy output and volume of grey matter.

A strong link was found between energy output and grey matter volumes in the areas of the brain vital for cognitive function.

"Grey matter includes neurons that function in cognition and higher order cognitive processes," said Dr Cyrus Raji.

"The areas of the brain that benefited from an active lifestyle are the ones that consume the most energy and are very sensitive to damage."

Posted by Jeanette Royston


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