Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Strength Training Good For The Aging Brain: Study

“Results of a new study converge with recent evidence that certain types of non-aerobic exercise, such as strength training, benefit cognitive function in older adults. In the study, researchers found an improvement in higher-order thinking skills among elderly men and women with a history of falling who participated in a falls-prevention exercise program. ‘In older adults, impaired central executive functioning is associated with falls,’ Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, of University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, told Reuters Health. The older men and women who did the strength and balance training showed a 13 percent improvement in an executive function task after 6 months. This group of elders, for example, was better able to name the ink color of the word "blue" printed in red ink. By contrast, non-participants' skills deteriorated 10 percent, the investigators report in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. After one year, 43 percent of participants, compared with 67 percent of non-participants, had repeat falls, Liu-Ambrose and colleagues report. The investigators compared physical and cognitive abilities at baseline and again 6 months later among community-living men and women, aged 70 and older with a history of at least one previous fall, who were able to walk at least 3 meters (about 9 feet) and had no neurological condition associated with increased risk of falling. Of the 52 participants available for follow-up at 6 months, 24 received standard care at a falls clinic. The remaining 28 followed the home-based strength and balance program, known as the Otago Exercise Program, which involved twice-weekly walks plus exercises to strengthen knees, hips, and ankles, and balance exercises such as backwards, sideways, heel, and toe walking, and one-leg stands. As mentioned, program participants showed improved ability to complete color-word tests, but they showed no significant improvement in other executive thinking skills, such as switching between multiple tasks and deciphering between relevant and non-relevant incoming information. ‘The Otago Exercise Program may reduce falls by improving cognitive performance,’ the investigators conclude.”

http://www.reutershealth.com/archive/2008/10/14/eline/links/20081014elin001.html

1 comment:

neal said...

The older men and women who did the strength and balance training showed a 13 percent improvement in an executive function task after 6 months. This group of elders, for example, was better able to name the ink color of the word "blue" printed in red ink. By contrast, non-participants' skills deteriorated 10 percent.The investigators compared physical and cognitive abilities at baseline and again 6 months later among community-living men.
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