Medicine

The link between your yearly earnings and risk of dementia

The link between your yearly earnings and risk of dementia

The researchers concluded that exercise can not be used as a treatment for cognitive disorders such as dementia in the United States.

As part of the activity, they lifted weights while getting out of a chair and spent 20 minutes on a fixed cycle.

Researchers at New York's Union College found older adults with mild cognitive impairment - often a precursor to Alzheimer's disease - showed significant improvement after playing video games that require physical exercise.

Contributing activity included moderate to high intensity aerobic and strength exercise training.

This trial suggests that people with mild to moderate dementia can engage and comply with moderate to high intensity aerobic and strengthening exercise and improve physical fitness.

Nearly 500 people with dementia took part, with 329 embarking on a special exercise programme and 165 receiving their usual care. But recent reviews of trials of exercise training in people with dementia have shown conflicting results. Good exercise compliance was seen; more than 65 percent of participants attended more than 75% of scheduled sessions. This suggests the type of exercise programme may not have been particularly attractive, particularly to women with dementia.




More than a third of the people invited to take part in the study declined, and 60% of the participants were men, which is unusual in dementia studies because more women than men have the condition. The complier average causal effect estimate for the primary outcome was -2.0 (95% CI -3.87 to -0.22), indicating worse cognitive impairment in people who attended more exercise sessions.

The study has several important limitations. For example, participants and carers knew which group they were in, and the period of structured exercise may have been too short to produce positive benefits. While some of the headlines were a bit alarmist - such as The Independent's "Exercise could make dementia progression worse not better" - most of the reports were balanced and accurate.

Professor Sarah Lamb, the lead author of the study, told The Guardian she was "disappointed" but not surprised by the findings, adding that dementia is a "difficult problem to fix". Carers were asked to take the decision on behalf of people whose dementia meant they were unable to.

"We don't want to alarm members of the public with dementia and their families", she said". We followed people up for much longer than most studies do.

It was funded by the National Institute of Health Research and published in the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal on an open-access basis, so it's free to read online.

He continued, "We know there are ways we can all reduce our risk of dementia, such as staying physically active, eating healthily and not smoking".