Dementia: Exercise May Help To Reverse Neurodegeneration

Maureen has always enjoyed walking: in fact she loves being outside in the fresh air.  Following stroke her G P advised her that: ‘she should keep walking’.  She took his advice so seriously that she often uses his words as one of her mantras.  Unfortunately, Maureen is so tired at the moment that she has only managed a couple of walks around the garden in the last few days.  She has also had periods of abject confusion, with fear being an additional component of her presentation.  I will have to monitor things very closely in the next day opr so and seek medical advice if things don’t improve soon.  The cold weather isn’t helping and Maureen often wants to stay under the duvet.

If the cold weather remains a deterrent to taking exercise then we are in trouble.  Recent research is suggesting that exercise can help the brain to regenerate:

‘Exercise may help reverse neurodegeneration in older adults, according to research published in the Journal of International Neuropsychological Society.

Carson Smith, PhD, an associate professor of kinesiology from the University of Maryland of Public Health and colleagues found that both healthy older adults and older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who improved their cardiorespiratory fitness through a moderate intensity exercise program increased the thickness of their brain’s cortex, the outer layer of the brain that typically atrophies with Alzheimer’s disease’.

“Exercise may help to reverse neurodegeneration and the trend of brain shrinkage that we see in those with MCI and Alzheimer’s,” said Dr. Smith. “Many people think it is too late to intervene with exercise once a person shows symptoms of memory loss, but our data suggest that exercise may have a benefit in this early stage of cognitive decline.”

If this cold spell continues it might be a goosd idea to consider seeking some Winter Sun.  All this talking about renewing passports need to result in action.  We don’t want to leave any stoned unturned as we use every possible strategy to maximise Maureen’s recovery from stroke.

Some postive news: I began work on reproducing dad’s notebook of the missons he flew on during the Second World War.  I think I have found a format that will make our copies of his notebook look authentic.  More work on this front is in hand and I am hoping to have some proofs to take to Coventry when I go down to see family on Saturday.

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About Remember Me

I am a retired adult educator. My wife had a stroke in February 2014 and now has mixed dementia. Her recovery from stroke has been exceptional apart from 50% loss of peripheral vision and vascular damage. 'Dharma For Dementia' is my approach to being Maureem's Care Partner: it aims to end the suffering of 'Prescribed Disengagement' (Swaffer) .
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2 Responses to Dementia: Exercise May Help To Reverse Neurodegeneration

  1. alijory says:

    That’s very interesting Paul. I heard on Radio 4 the other day that ballroom dancing is very good for dementia. I hope Maureen is feeling a bit better soon and the weather allows you both to get out.

    How lovely to have your dad’s notebook, and such a precious thing to be able to pass on to your daughters.

    Like

  2. Remember Me says:

    We dance every day in the kitchen and I am almost being allowed to lead! My dad’s notebook is priceless and belongs in a museum along with his Log Book. We are so fortunate he survived the war when you consider the number of missions he flew on.

    Like

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