As I said in my previous article, it is time to move (and write) one step at a time to keep our body and mind healthy.
Thus, let’s start with an interesting topic area: neurodegenerative diseases.
Specifically, today we will focus on Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Axiomatic aging predisposes older adults to AD, which is a type of slowly progressive brain disease characterized by the loss or damage of neurons, mainly in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex.
AD is also a degenerative disease: it becomes worse with time.
AD or dementia?
Dementia is an umbrella term referring to memory loss, language problems, decline in cognitive functions and others aspects affecting individual’s ability to perform everyday activities. The signs and symptoms of dementia can be identified through 3 different stages: early, middle and late stage.
AD is the most common form of dementia with onset predominantly over 65 years old.
What is the role of PA?
As recently reported by Gronek and colleagues (2019), epidemiological studies highlighted the positive role of PA and exercise which may significantly decrease the impact of the disease in existing diagnosis. Moreover, PA and exercise may be used as a preventive tool: different exercise models (aerobic, aerobic + resistance and resistance) showed protective effects in the progression of AD stimulating brain plasticity and also improving the antioxidant system.
However, more research is needed, especially in PA’s activities who are not aerobic. But this does not shift the attention from the importance to practice regular PA: being an active aged person is fundamental to move through healthy ageing.
Dott.ssa Francesca Greco
1. World Health Organization (WHO) 2019. Dementia
2. Gronek P, Balko S, Gronek J, et al. Physical Activity and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Narrative Review. Aging Dis. 2019;10(6):1282‐1292.