Exercise as it relates to Disease/Exercise and its Effects on Dementia

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Exercise and its Effects on Dementia[edit | edit source]

Brief Background[edit | edit source]

Dementia is actually the term used to describe the symptoms of a number of illnesses that affect the brain, with the most common being Alzheimer’s disease.[1] Dementia causes a progressive decline in a person’s functioning and affects their thinking, behaviour and ability to perform everyday tasks [2]

Explanation/Diagnosis of Dementia[edit | edit source]

There are a variety of forms of dementia, and each form has its own cause.[3] Throughout the aging process, insulin levels drop which means that it’s more difficult for glucose to fuel the body’s cells and entering them. This causes blood glucose levels to increase.[4] With an increase in blood glucose levels, there is an increase in the risk of the individual having diabetes. These high glucose levels also increase the risk for stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, because of the waste products that are produced from high glucose levels.[4] There are many cases of dementia that can be “reversed”, however there is no prevention or cure for most forms of dementia [5] The reversible characteristics are caused by low blood pressure, poor nutrition, hormone imbalance and as well as prescription drug affects.[6]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

It has been proved that exercise regulates the brain function.[7] Regional hypo-perfusion is associated with a reduction in cerebral metabolism. Hypo-perfusion is a contributor to Alzheimer’s disease and leads to cognitive decline [8]

It has been shown that regular exercise can boost cognitive and functional activity scores in patients with dementia, which suggests that if patients participate in a regular exercise program, that senile dementia may improve.[9]

Improved functional performance [9] was evident in a study where physical exercise was developed as an intervention for caregivers to deliver to home-dwelling patients.[10]

Physical activity is linked to reducing the effects of dementia as well reducing the risk of developing symptoms, and Alzheimer’s in particular.[1] Exercise is an important non-pharmacological approach that is affordable and that benefits cognitive functions, as well as balance, which can reduce the risk of falls [2]

A study was developed (Fan, JT & Chen, KM) to test the effects of yoga exercises on mental and physical health on elderly people with dementia, who are living in long-term care facilities.[11] The yoga-trained participants had better physical and mental health, including lowered blood pressure, improved balance and increased flexibility.[12]

The factors presented in this study did result in the recommendation of yoga being included as one of the routine activities in long-term care facilities, as it was beneficial for the patients, not only physically but as well as cognitively.[11]

Further reading[edit | edit source]

Better Health Channel - Dementia [5]

What is Dementia? - Alzheimer's Australia [3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. a b Vogel, T., Brechat, P., Lepretre, P., Kaltenbach, G., Berthel, M., & Lonsdorfer, J. (2009). Health benefits of physical activity in older patients: A review. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 63(2), 303-320. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-1241.2008.01957.x
  2. a b Hernandez, S., Coelho, F., Gobbi, S., & Stella, F. (2010). Effects of physical activity on cognitive function, balance and risk of falls in elderly patients with alzheimer's dementia. Revista Brasileira De Fisioterapia, 14(1), 68-74. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/746271483?accountid=28889
  3. a b What is Dementia Australia, A. (n.d.). What is Dementia. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from http://www.fightdementia.org.au/what-is-dementia.aspx - See more at: http://reffor.us/index.php#sthash.CdjFHK8e.dpuf
  4. a b Exercising and the Aging Brain Eckmann, T. (2011). Exercise and the aging brain. Journal On Active Aging, 10(6), 20-28
  5. a b Dementia Explained Channel, B. H. (May 2012). Dementia. Retrieved October, 18 2013, from www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Dementia_explained - See more at: http://reffor.us/index.php#sthash.e6hjGuKc.dpuf
  6. Dementia Elaine N. Marieb & Katja Hoehm (2010). Human Anatomy & Physiology (8th ed.). California: Pearson Benjamin Cummings. - See more at: http://reffor.us/index.php#sthash.m0JSvEGB.dpuf
  7. Exerise and Alzheimer's. Eggermont, L., Swaab, D., Luiten, P., & Scherder, E. (2006). Exercise, cognition and alzheimer's disease: More is not necessarily better. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 30(4), 562-575. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2005.10.004
  8. Exercise on Cognition van Uffelen, J. Z., Chin A Paw, M. M., Hopman-Rock, M., & van Mechelen, W. (2008). The Effects of Exercise on Cognition in Older Adults With and Without Cognitive Decline: A Systematic Review. Clinical Journal Of Sport Medicine, 18(6), 486-500.
  9. a b Kwak, Y. S., Um, S. Y., Son, T. G., & Kim, D. J. (2008). Effect of Regular Exercise on Senile Dementia Patients. International Journal Of Sports Medicine, 29(6), 471-474.
  10. Home Based Exercise Program Steinberg, M., Leoutsakos, J. S., Podewils, L. J., & Lyketsos, C. G. (2009). Evaluation of a home-based exercise program in the treatment of alzheimer's disease: The maximizing independence in dementia (MIND) study. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 24(7), 680-685. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/gps.2175
  11. a b Fan, JT & Chen KM (2011, October). Using silver yoga exercises to promote physical and mental health of elders with dementia in long-term care facilities. Int Psychogeriatr., 23(8), 1222-30. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21385519. - See more at: http://reffor.us/index.php#sthash.TxBTSce0.dpuf
  12. Does Exercise Protect Packer, N. N., Pervaiz, N. N., & Hoffman-Goetz, L. L. (2010). Does exercise protect from cognitive decline by altering brain cytokine and apoptotic protein levels? A systematic review of the literature. Exercise Immunology Review, 16138-162.