More physically fit individuals have lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease development than physically unfit individuals. This finding will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 74th Annual Meeting, to be held in Seattle, Washington, from April 2 to 7, 2022, in person and virtually from April 24 to 26, 2022. A preliminary study was released on February 27, 2022.
Fitter persons were less likely to get Alzheimer’s, according to research author Edward Zamrini of the Washington VA Medical Center in Washington, DC, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “It was not an all-or-nothing scenario,” stated Zamrini in a press release. That’s why it’s important for people to make little modifications and gains in their physical fitness, and ideally that will reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in the years to come.
649,605 veterans from the Veterans Health Administration database took part in the research, with an average age of 61, and an average follow-up time of nine years. Prior to the trial, none of the participants had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The cardiorespiratory fitness of the subjects was assessed by the researchers. How well your body distributes oxygen to your muscles, and how well your muscles can take in oxygen during activity, is measured by cardiorespiratory fitness.
A total of five groups of individuals were created, ranging from the least fit to the most fit. Participants’ performance on a treadmill test was used to gauge their level of fitness. This test assesses a person’s maximum level of physical exertion or VO2 max. Walking briskly on most days of the week, for at least two and a half hours a week, is the best way for middle-aged and older persons to stay in peak physical condition.
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While the most fit group had a rate of 6.4 cases per 1,000 person-years of Alzheimer’s, the least fit group had an incidence of 9.5 cases per 1,000 person-years. Using person-years, researchers can determine how many people participated in a study and how much time they spent in the study. For the second-least fit group (8.5), the middle group (7.4%), and the second-most fit group (7.2%) all had lower case rates as their fitness levels rose.
For individuals who were in better physical shape, the chance of Alzheimer’s disease decreased by 33% when other risk factors were taken into account, according to the study’s findings. The disease was 26 percent less likely to strike the second fittest group, the middle group was 20 percent less probable, and the second-least fit group was 13 percent less likely than the least fit group.
In light of the lack of effective therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, “the thought that you may minimize your risk for Alzheimer’s disease by simply increasing your exercise is quite intriguing,” Zamrini said. To help people understand the benefits of even little changes in fitness, we’re working on a simple scale that can be tailored to their needs.
Study participants were predominantly white men, which may limit the study’s applicability to other groups.
All of the above organizations contributed financially to the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and the Archives of Internal Medicine.
With over 38,000 members, the American Academy of Neurology is the world’s biggest organization for neurologists and other professionals in the field of neurology. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) is committed to providing the best patient-centered neurologic care possible. Neural medicine is the branch of medicine that focuses on the brain and nerve system’s health issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease as well as concussion and epilepsy.