OPINION: Dr Ken Romeo 775-870-6942
Our population is aging and there is continued emphasis on finding interventions that prevent or delay onset of cognitive disorders of aging.
Pharmacologicals have proven less effective than hoped, therefore greater emphasis has therefore been placed on understanding behavioral interventions that will positively impact a persons risk for dementia.
Current research suggest that modifiable behaviors impact brain plasticity in both humans and animals. The research focusing specifically on participation in physical and cognitive activities among older adults and their impact on cognition, the brain, and cognitive aging outcomes.
The robust scientific animal literature on activity and cognition provides a series of hypotheses as to how exercise exerts its cognitive and brain benefits.
The largely positive impact of physical and cognitive activities on cognition and brain health documented in epidemiological, cross sectional, and prospective randomized controlled studies is encouraging.
Most studies have targeted older adults in general focusing on the implications of exercise and cognitive interventions in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment.
Current evidence supports the ability for physical activity to modify genetic risks.
The connection between activity levels and brain volume, white matter integrity, and improved functionality is supportive of mild-moderate exercise.
Most studies have investigated a singular behavioral factor or intervention, but there is some research detailing the impact of combining both mental and physical activity to boost brain health.
In short, the current scientific literature would support both mild-moderate physical exercise AND mental exercise (such as learning a new language, playing complex games like Chess or Crossword Puzzles), as a method to temper the aging process and modify genetic risks.
Dr. Ken Romeo is a Principal and Chief Clinical Data Coordinator for the Healthy Aging Research and Genomic Council (HARGC) in Reno, NV.
Though each article contained on this Blog is derived from published Clinical and Research data contained in various national and international databases with links provided,
NO ARTICLE OR CONCLUSION IS MEANT TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, PREVENT OR CURE DISEASE.
CONSULT YOUR HEALTH PROFESSIONAL BEFORE MAKING ANY CHANGES TO YOUR HEALTH REGIMEN.