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Exercise helps to improve dementia patients' memory

Exercise helps to improve dementia patients' memory
4th December 2013

People living with dementia can improve their standard of living and cognitive abilities with regular exercise, it has been claimed.

The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed eight separate medical trials involving 300 people who exercised in their own properties or in care homes.

It found that while physical activity did little to improve the participant's moods, it did boost their ability to think.

Dorothy Forbes from the University of Alberta in Canada, who led the review, said that further research should now be carried out so that health professionals know what level of exercise is healthy for someone with dementia.

Dr Laura Phipps of the charity Alzheimer's Research UK added: "We do know that exercise is an important part of keeping healthy, and though we can't say that exercise will prevent dementia, evidence does suggest it can help reduce the risk of the condition as part of a healthy lifestyle."

Currently, more than 800,000 people have some form of dementia in the UK and the number is expected to surpass the one million mark by 2021.

As there is no cure for the condition, finding ways in which its impact can be minimised is crucial.

Last month, researchers at University College London stated that pensioners can stave off poor health and dementia by taking up regular exercise.

The team following 3,500 healthy people aged between 60 and 65 and assessed how their wellbeing was impacted by their activity levels.

They found that which did some form of exercise three times each week remained healthier than those which did not over a period of eight years.

Not only was this group found to have lower levels of stroke, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's, they were also found to be to perform basic daily tasks such as dressing and washing more easily.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes