RSNA: Walking May Reduce Cognitive Decline

Walking sufficient miles weekly may protect brains of those with, without cognitive impairment

MONDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Walking appears to slow cognitive decline in healthy individuals as well as those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer's disease, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3 in Chicago.

Cyrus Raji, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues evaluated whether physical activity altered brain structure in 426 individuals, including 299 healthy adults (mean age, 78 years), and 127 cognitively impaired adults (mean age, 81 years; 83 adults with MCI and 44 adults with Alzheimer's disease).

The investigators found that higher levels of physical activity (number of blocks walked) were associated with greater volume in several areas of the brain nine years later: frontal, occipital, temporal, entorhinal, and hippocampal regions. Individuals with MCI or Alzheimer's disease needed to walk at least 58 city blocks per week to maintain brain volume and to slow cognitive decline. Healthy individuals needed to walk at least 72 city blocks per week to maintain brain volume and significantly reduce the risk for cognitive decline. Mini-mental state exam scores decreased by an average of five points in cognitively impaired patients who did not engage in a sufficient level of physical activity over five years, compared with a decrease of only one point in individuals who engaged in sufficient physical activity.

"We found that walking five miles per week protects the brain structure over 10 years in people with Alzheimer's and MCI, especially in areas of the brain's key memory and learning centers," Raji said in a statement. "We also found that these people had a slower decline in memory loss over five years."

Abstract No. SSA17
More Information

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Blunt Chest Trauma
Journal of Trauma Nursing, November/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95


The School Age Child with Congenital Heart Disease
MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2.5 $24.95


Understanding multiple myeloma
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Expires: 2/28/2017 CE:2 $21.95


More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles

Comprehensive Care: Looking Beyond the Presenting Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, January/March 2015
Free access will expire on March 2, 2015.


Pain and Alzheimer dementia: A largely unrecognized problem
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, January/February 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.


Glycemic control in hospitalized patients
Nursing2015 Critical Care, January 2015
Free access will expire on February 16, 2015.


More Recommended Articles

Subscribe to Recommended Articles

Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events