Walk, exercise more to ward off dementia

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Washington, Dec 21 (UNI) Walking, Climbing Stairs, and Other physical activities may help prevent dementia in people aged 65 and older, a research shows.

Italian researchers carried out a study and found that people doing more physical exercise were less likely to develop vascular dementia than the least active people.

They studied 749 people aged 65 and older for four years.

In the beginning , participants didn't have dementia or mild cognitive impairment, which can lead to dementia. They noted their weekly physical activities, including how many city blocks they walk and how many flights of stairs they climb in a day.

By the end of the study, 86 people had been diagnosed with dementia. They included 57 people with Alzheimer's disease and 27 people with vascular dementia, which is dementia related to problems with blood vessels in the brain.

The reserachers found the most active people were less likely to develop vascular dementia than the least active people.

Walking stood out. People who walked the most were less likely to develop vascular dementia than those who walked the least.

''It is important to note that, in terms of lowering vascular dementia risk, an easy-to-perform moderate activity like walking provided the same benefits of other, more demanding activities,'' researchers from the University Hospital in Bologna noted.

However , the study doesn't capture every trait that affects a person's chance of developing dementia, the Web MD reported.

Physical activity didn't cut the odds of developing Alzheimer's disease. But the researchers warn against jumping to the conclusion that physical activity doesn't prevent Alzheimer's disease.

UNI

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