Tuesday, December 12, 2017
News Roundup

Regular exercise can help fight dementia

Go ahead and do crossword puzzles, eat nuts and fish, and use coconut oil in your cooking, but if you really want to fend off Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, you can do nothing better than exercise every day, according to a new study.

Dr. J. Carson Smith of the University of Maryland School of Public Health has demonstrated that even older adults who already show signs of cognitive impairment improved their memory and brain function over 12 weeks simply by walking on a treadmill at a moderate pace for 30 minutes, four times a week.

"There may be multiple factors that combine to produce the improvement," said Smith, lead author of the paper.

Exercise contributes to the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with memory and the part Alzheimer's disease attacks first, Smith said.

"Exercise also promotes the growth of capillaries, which provide nutrients and energy to cells. And exercise may reduce inflammation, allowing the brain to function more efficiently," he said.

The study compared two groups of physically inactive older adults ranging in age from 60 to 88, who agreed to participate in the exercise plan, which was supervised by a personal trainer. One group contained 17 people diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, or MCI. The other contained 18 people with no memory problems. The treadmill walking was adjusted for each participant, with the effort gradually increased over 12 weeks.

"We had them start at moderate intensity, which may have been 2 miles per hour for some, and gradually increased the speed and maybe the incline so they were doing a little more every week," Smith said. "The exercise got their heart rate up, and caused them to breathe a bit heavier, and sweat a little bit. They didn't report it as being unpleasant and they kept coming back. We had 96 percent attendance at the sessions."

Since one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer's disease involves difficulty remembering familiar names, the participants had their brains imaged while they attempted to identify photos of celebrities such as Frank Sinatra. The scanning was done both before and after the 12 weeks of exercise, and the brain scans showed a significant decline in brain activity in 11 brain regions, indicating greater efficiency of cognitive processing.

Also, participants improved on a test that involved reading a list of 15 words and remembering as many as possible, both immediately and after being distracted by another list of words.

Another study in which Smith participated, reported last year in the journal Current Alzheimer Research, found that moderate physical activity over 18 months reduced cognitive decline among older people who carry a gene for apolipoprotein epsilon 4 (ApoE4), the strongest known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Cognitive stimulation activities alone had no effect.

Exercise certainly won't eliminate the mental decline that comes with age, but getting people already experiencing significant memory problems to improve their brain function and their ability to remember words "is a very big step in the right direction," Smith said.

Tom Valeo writes on health matters. He can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Medical field accounts for 7 of 10 highest-paying jobs

Medical field accounts for 7 of 10 highest-paying jobs

The nation’s highest-paying jobs don’t quite track with the fastest-growing jobs in Florida. According to a new study released today by California-based CareerCast, the highest-paying jobs are largely in the medical field and require post-graduate de...
Published: 12/12/17
Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

Lions-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 14: A coach's future hangs in the balance

TAMPA — The season started in August with “Hard Knocks,” packed bleachers at training camp and cheers for coach Dirk Koetter.It ended Sunday with a 24-21 loss to the Lions, a lot of empty seats and chants of “We want Gruden ba...
Updated: 5 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Dec. 11

Monday’s scoreboardGirls soccerDixie Hollins 4, Boca Ciega 0Palm Harbor U. 2, Countryside 2Osceola 7, Northeast 0Largo 1, Seminole 0Boys soccerIndian Rocks Chr. 3, Northside Chr. 1Palm Harbor U. 4, Countryside 1...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Winter meetings journal: Rays closer Alex Colome drawing interest

Winter meetings journal: Rays closer Alex Colome drawing interest

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays made a small deal Monday in acquiring INF Joey Wendle from Oakland while continuing to discuss bigger ones that seem likely to eventually lead to the trade of closer Alex Colome and then others.The Rockies and Mets joined ...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Mon., Dec. 11, midday:32 251 1266e_SRit91903Mon., Dec. 11, evening:52 400 7181e_SRit23090Fantasy 5Mon., Dec. 11...
Updated: 7 hours ago
HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Emily Joseph and Devin Cosser

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Emily Joseph and Devin Cosser

HomeTeam Hot ShotsEmily Joseph, NortheastJoseph, a senior, has been a deadly shooter since her sophomore year. But this season she has added to her game. "She’s gotten physically stronger and has gained confidence," coach Will White said. "She used t...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Florida A&M names Willie Simmons football coach

Florida A&M names Willie Simmons football coach

TALLAHASSEE — Willie Simmons was named football coach at Florida A&M on Monday. The Tallahassee native will be introduced today. Simmons, 37, has been the coach at Prairie View A&M the past three seasons (21-11, including 6-5 this season). He played ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Yankees’ acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton may hasten Rays’ dismantling

Yankees’ acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton may hasten Rays’ dismantling

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The latest obstacle keeping the Rays from contending in the American League East loomed even larger Monday afternoon in pinstripes.The Yankees’ formal introduction of Giancarlo Stanton also could be an accelerant to the departure o...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Residents wonder what’s next after fire destroys Tampa apartments (with video)

Residents wonder what’s next after fire destroys Tampa apartments (with video)

TAMPA — When her apartment complex caught fire Monday afternoon, Peaches McIntyre grabbed her four children and baby stroller and ran outside.Hours later, she looked at the smoldering building with her 5-year-old autistic son, Choice Underwood, huggi...
Updated: 8 hours ago
3 Trump accusers call for congressional inquiry; Pentagon to allow transgender people to enlist; 18 win anti-Trump climate grants; more in U.S., world news

3 Trump accusers call for congressional inquiry; Pentagon to allow transgender people to enlist; 18 win anti-Trump climate grants; more in U.S., world news

United States3 Trump accusers speak, hoping to be heard nowThree women who have previously accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment shared their stories Monday on NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today. Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks s...
Updated: 8 hours ago