A new UConn analysis of years of previous research suggests there is ample evidence that exercise may delay the decline in cognitive function associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Aerobic exercise has possibly the most favorable effect, according to the study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Led by Gregory Panza, a UConn kinesiology graduate student, this is the first analysis of a group of studies on a particular type of dementia — Alzheimer’s.
The authors examined data from 19 studies with 23 interventions that encompassed 1,125 participants who were at risk of Alzheimer’s. The studies were all conducted prior to August 2017 and published in peer-reviewed journals.
The studies led to the overall conclusion that moderate-intensity exercise training about three days a week for 45 minutes resulted in modestly better cognitive function for participants. The findings reinforce the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, which recommend exercise as a cost-effective lifestyle therapeutic option to improve brain health in older adults.