National Physical Therapy Month: Physical activity during midlife helps arrest onset of Alzheimer’s

National Physical Therapy Month: Physical activity during midlife helps arrest onset of Alzheimer’s

When everything appears to be fragile and feeble in life, what stays intact is one’s memories, both good and bad. While the best thing about memories is in making them, some people find it hard to recollect them after a period due to decline in their cognitive abilities. Dementia, or loss of memory, diagnosed due to Alzheimer’s disease is incurable, but doctors recommend medications and therapies that can temporarily decrease the severity of symptoms or slow down their progression.

Alzheimer’s affects approximately 5.1 million Americans, according to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA). Practitioners mostly focus on the factors that check the progression of the disease. Not much has been achieved by scientists in assessing factors that affect the progression of the disorder, but details collected and collated till date do indicate about certain preventive strategies that can help arrest its increasing prevalence by checking its onset.

Physical activity during middle age is important

Scientists pinpoint at the effectiveness of physical activity during middle age that could help influence the extent of cognitive decline and tackle the effects associated with aging.

Every year, the month of October is observed as the National Physical Therapy Month under the sponsorship of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Its purpose is to stress on the need to understand and celebrate the power of transformative therapy. The use of physical therapy to treat disorders in place of being completely dependent on prescription painkillers is being recognized due to the rising opioid scourge in America.

The researchers of the study, titled “Predictive Factors for Verbal Memory Performance Over Decades of Aging: Data from the Women’s Healthy Ageing Project,” aimed to understand and establish key risk factors affecting people as they hit middle age that may cause weakening of the cognitive ability in the later stages of life.

The difficulty in recalling from a 10-item supraspan word list score form the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD-DR) that was used by the researchers to analyze the respondents’ sensitivity to early symptoms of the disorder.

Regular exercise helps check risk of developing Alzheimer’s

Self-reported physical activity levels and optimal lipoprotein levels of high density were found to be major factors predicting cognitive performance, with physical activity manifesting the most important effect on comprehension levels among all candidate covariates.

High systolic and diastolic blood pressures were found to have an adverse impact on verbal memory performance on the CERAD-DR over a period of time. Though more research needs to be carried out in this direction, the authors of the latest study, published online in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry in May 2016, suggested that regular exercise can go a long way in alleviating the risks of developing the disorder.

Previous researches had also pointed at the effects of exercise on slowing down the progress of neurodegenerative diseases. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and involves degradation of the portions of the brain associated with thought, memory and language.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of Alzheimer’s patients can go up to 14 million by 2050. This makes it imperative to conduct researches to understand the factors that can help check the onset of the disease. The researchers, however, said that the prevalence of the disorder could be decreased by up to 50 percent by procrastinating its onset by five years.

Road to recovery

More than the increasing pervasiveness of mental problems, it is the lack of accessibility to treatment that is becoming a major concern. Thus, it is important to start the treatment as soon as it is diagnosed. If you or your loved one is suffering from any mental health issue, consult the Sovereign Health for the best treatment. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online to understand all about mental health programs and to know about our various mental health centers in the U.S.

Read the first article of the series National Physical Therapy Month:

Adopt fitness regimen to improve mental health

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