Alzheimer’s Disease and Fitness
There’s a connection between increased fitness and lower Alzheimer’s risk.
Small increases in fitness are linked with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. That’s according to a longitudinal study with 649,605 veterans, as presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 74th Annual Meeting held in Seattle in April 2022.
Researchers at Veterans Administration Medical Center followed subjects for an average of 9 years. “One exciting finding of this study is that as people’s fitness improved, their risk of Alzheimer’s disease decreased—it was not an all-or-nothing proposition,” said lead study author Edward Zamrini, MD, adjunct professor of clinical research and leadership at the The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and physician at Washington VA Medical Center, Washington D.C. “[P]eople can work toward making incremental changes and improvements in their physical fitness and hopefully that will be associated with a related decrease in their risk of Alzheimer’s years later.”
Study limitations include the fact that most participants were white men, so results may not be generalizable to other individuals. More research is recommended.