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Modest exercise found to protect against dementia

Modest exercise found to protect against dementia
14th October 2010

A new scientific study suggests that walking just one mile each day could protect the brain against cognitive decline - a known pre-cursor to dementia.

Research from the University of Pittsburgh, published in the journal Neurology, observed 299 people with an average age of 78, assessing their physical activity levels and cognitive function.

Brain scans indicated that those who walked more than six miles in a week has significantly more grey matter than those who were less active, and were less likely to develop dementia.

Reacting to the news, the Alzheimer's Research Trust chief executive Rebecca Wood said the findings indicated even a modest amount of exercise is beneficial to older people.

She went on to explain: "Diet and lifestyle almost certainly play a part in every person's Alzheimer's risk.

"These factors remain a magnet for research because they could offer relatively inexpensive ways to fight a disease that ruins countless lives."

Alzheimer's Society head of research Susan Sorensen agreed, saying that this should spur people into leading healthier lifestyles.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.