To Your Health
January, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 01)
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Your Brain Needs Exercise

By Editorial Staff

Could twice a week be all it takes? We're talking about exercise, specifically resistance exercise, and its ability to help seniors suffering from age-related mild cognitive decline. A review study in Neurology revealed twice-weekly resistance training for 26 weeks proved more effective than aerobic exercise in terms of improving "executive functioning" – the ability to plan, manage and organize thoughts.

Deficiencies in executive functioning are one of several symptoms characteristic of MCI.

The study authors suggest exercise in general (resistance and aerobic exercise) may be beneficial for MCI according to their review, going so far as to add it to a clinical practice guideline for the condition. The guideline has already been endorsed by the Alzheimer's Association. The authors also note that per their research review, little high-quality evidence suggests medications currently used to treat MCI (which raises the risk of dementias such as Alzheimer's) are effective.

So, exercise works, medication doesn't. Where have we heard that before? Your doctor can tell you more about how to treat mild cognitive decline and reduce your risk of age-related brain atrophy the drug-free way.