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Does Strength Training Cure Dementia?

November 23, 2016

 

Mild Cognitive Impairment involves problems concerning memory, thinking, language and judgment, MCI significantly sums up the decline of dementia. Dementia targets usually an older audience however it can happen to anyone during their lifespan. 47.5 million people suffer from dementia with 7.7 million new cases of it occurring every year, Alzheimer's is the main cause of this as studies show that it contributes to 60-70% of cases concerning dementia. As of February 2016 there is an estimated 353,800 people living with dementia in Australia, without some sort of medical breakthrough this number is estimated to rise past 900,000 by 2050.

 

Dementia is considered the second leading cause of death in Australia due to it having no cure. Recent studies have begun to emerge sharing the same idea that weight training may be the breakthrough cure to a significant reduce in alzheimer's. Exercise helps cognitive function meaning the more you train and the stronger you become the greater benefit for your brain. The benefits of weight training consists of how much effort you put into it, to see results you must participate in an exercise program at least twice a week at high intensity as this will give you the maximum benefit for your brain.

 

Most adults reach their peak strength around the age of twenty and are able to maintain this strength for decades. From the age of 40+ remember its never too late to start training as the earlier you start the chances of dementia decreases and is also better for your health in the long term. When you reach your eighties your strength declines to almost less than a half of that of a young adult, this is known as sarcopenia. Strength training improves on general mobility, simple functions such as standing and sitting, improves strength and increases balance. Although there are many benefits of strength training those with osteoarthritis may suggest otherwise. Osteoarthritis is a painful musculoskeletal condition that may put more stress on the person's joints resulting in a decrease of functional mobility. For example if someone with osteoarthritis injures their hip or back their quality of life is ruined.

 

Strength training is definitely beneficial for the older generation, it may have varied effects on those with conditions such as osteoarthritis but in the long term it does improve your mobility and general functions (such as balance) and does have a major impact on those with dementia as it decreases its effect and helps with cognitive function.

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