A very interesting study evaluated the effects of aerobic activity on the cognitive decline that comes with advancing age.
Previous studies have already established a connection between cardiovascular disorders and the onset of Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline not related to dementia (CIND) or dementia.
Today, researchers from the Department of Psychiatry and Cognitive Sciences at Duke University Medical Center in Durham reveal the results of a singular study.
This study combines a specific diet with aerobic activity to be done no less than twice a week.
Aerobic activity reduces cognitive decline
In fact, the researchers discovered with an intervention on 160 sedentary patients suffering from cognitive decline that a diet for the heart and hypertension modeled on Dash improved the conditions if not linked to overt dementia (CIND).
To understand, the CIND is that stage of cognitive decline where the functions of the brain are reduced, but there is still no pathology.
In particular, the best results were obtained only by combining weekly aerobic activity with diet, and lasted one year despite the fact that patients were discontinuous in following the recommendations, for most of the sample (149 out of 160). Even one year after surgery, all patients showed better brain function.
The aerobic activity prescribed by the doctors was varied, chosen by the patients: long walks, bicycle, treadmill.
The diet used in the study was the Dash diet, an example of which can be found here.
The treatment lasted six months. Patients underwent tests that assessed their cognitive functions before the study, after 6 months of treatment and after another 6 months of follow-up. Those who followed diet and physical activity also showed lower cardiovascular risk, in particular lower cholesterol and high blood pressure.