Thursday, August 2, 2012

Physical Performance and Dementia

Amongst the elderly population aged 90 and over, there seems to be a strong relationship between poor physical performance and instances of dementia. This is most likely because of the fact that advanced dementia will affect portions of the brain that affect movement and coordination. The older someone gets the higher their risk of dementia becomes, as well. The combination of these things does not bode well for people aged 90 and over that are suffering from a number of conditions.

This study might not come as a surprise to many people, but the segment of the population that has reached this advanced age is actually not well studied. There are still many things unknown about how bodies react to advanced age, and this study sheds a small amount of light upon the subject. There has been some study on the physical performance of younger elderly people and cognitive decline, however, and similar results were arrived at.

Another not so surprising discovery of this study was that the vast majority of subjects were women. This happens for two reasons: one, women live longer than men, and two, women are at a higher risk of getting dementia like Alzheimer's disease. The combination of these two led to about 72.5 percent of the 629 subjects being women.

The repercussions of this are pretty obvious. Women need to be especially cautious when it comes to fighting this disease. Regular exercise can be a big help-another major implication of this recent study. Aerobic exercise stimulates brain cells and keeps them functioning at a higher level. It allows for brain cell plasticity which helps the brain work better and more flexibly. Not only does exercise help the brain, it also helps the body. People that exercise are less likely to have poor physical performance. That leads to a big conclusion. Since people that have poor physical performances are more likely to become affected by dementia, it only stands to reason that people that exercise will be better equipped to fight off this horrific disease.

Dementia is a huge concern amongst the elderly and Alzheimer's disease-the most common form of dementia-is present in over five million Americans. Preventing this disease is going to become even more important to our society since the elderly population is set to go under a major expansion in the near future. The Baby Boomers are getting older and as a result, more people are going to be elderly in our society. This means that more people are going to be at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. New approaches will likely develop, but in the meantime, you need to do your part toward staying as mentally and physically healthy as possible.

Matthew G. Young is a freelance writer who specializes in financial, sports, and health-related topics. To learn more about in home health care visit Paradise In Home Care

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