MENTAL OR PHYSICAL
A NEW STUDY SUGGESTS THAT PHYSICAL ACTIVITY STAVES OFF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Is physical activity the holy grail when it comes to dementia prevention? That's one conclusion of a recent study in Archives of Internal Medicine, but Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer's disease expert at Johns Hopkins, says a study he was involved with provides another interpretation.
LYKETSOS: We looked at people with mild dementia. These were people we characterized before they had dementia. And what we saw is that mental activity really matters in changing the course of dementia, slowing it down. When you account for mental activity any benefit of physical activity goes away. That's why my personal bias would suggest that the mental activity is driving things, and because there are strong mental components to physical activity, the benefit really might come from that aspect as opposed to the strengthening of the muscles and bones. :33
Perhaps engaging in both mental and physical activity hedges your bets best. At Johns Hopkins, I'm Elizabeth Tracey.