Saturday, 10 June 2017

A Life-Long Approach to Physical Activity for Brain Health

There is lots of observational data to support the notion of physical activity being protective against many diseases associated with ageing. Unfortunately even with cohort studies it is difficult to mitigate the effect of reverse causality (i.e. physical activity diminishing as a result of undiagnosed disease and therefore participation in physical activity appearing protective)... 
Randomised controlled trials have been done and are supportive but because the nature of the intervention makes it hard to blind participants... other causal approaches may end up being useful...

Front Aging Neurosci. 2017 May 23;9:147. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2017.00147. eCollection 2017. Macpherson H, Teo WP, Schneider LA, Smith AE.

It is well established that engaging in lifelong Physical activity (PA) can help delay the onset of many chronic lifestyle related and non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. Additionally, growing evidence also documents the importance of PA for brain health, with numerous studies indicating regular engagement in physical activities may be protective against cognitive decline and dementia in late life. Indeed, the link between PA and brain health may be different at each stage of life from childhood, mid-life and late life. Building on this emerging body of multidisciplinary research, this review aims to summarize the current body of evidence linking regular PA and brain health across the lifespan. Specifically, we will focus on the relationship between PA and brain health at three distinct stages of life: childhood and adolescence, mid-life, late life in cognitively healthy adults and later life in adults living with age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD).

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