Sedentary Adults May Be More Likely to Develop Dementia

Jan 18, 2019

A new study has found that older adults who weren’t sedentary did better on thinking and memory skills tests. Exercise didn’t have to be complicated – it could be walking or even moderately physical housework, but the researchers found that movement may be essential to preserving thinking and memory skills when there are signs of dementia in the brain.

The study looked at more than 450 older adults – about 40 percent of which had dementia. The participants were given physical exams and thinking and memory tests every year for 20 years. All agreed to donate their brains for research upon death.

Researchers found that people who had better movement and coordination also had better thinking and memory skills. And that the more active they were, the more impact it had on their brain.

About 19 percent of West Virginians are over the age of 65.

The study was published this week in the online issue off Neurology.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center.