A daily brisk walk or bike ride may reduce an older person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research. Researchers have found that physical activity dampens inflammation in the brain, protecting against mental decline.
Lead author Dr. Kaitlin Casaletto from the University of California-San Francisco and her team note that few people will disagree that an active lifestyle is good for overall health. However, it’s been unclear how physical activity improves brain health, until now. Researchers believe the benefits may come about through decreased immune cell activation.
Dementia affects over six million people in the United States, with estimates showing that figure may rise dramatically by 2050. The number of people with the condition is steadily increasing because of increasing lifespans across the world. Within the next three decades, more than 150 million may develop the disease, researchers say.
With no cure in sight, lifestyle changes that can help ward off cognitive decline are vital.
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SOURCE: Study Finds