Strength Training can have a positive effect with Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.
Alzheimer’s disease, also termed primary degenerative dementia is a deadly metal illness. It results in substantial memory loss, weakened judgement, personality fluctuations, confusion, and forfeiture of language abilities. Due to the fact that this is a primary progressive dementia, the prospects for someone with this malady is poor. The origin of Alzheimer’s disease is unidentified; yet, a number of factors are believed to be involved. These consist of neurochemical factors, such as shortages in the neurotransmitter (a chemical that transmits signals) acetylcholine, somatostatin, and norepinephrine; environmental aspects; and genetic immunologic issues. The beginning of this illness is deceptive. At first, the afflicted experiences almost unnoticeable changes, such as absent-mindedness, fresh memory loss, struggles in learning and retaining new information, decline in personal cleanliness and appearance, and non-existent concentration. Bit by bit, errands that require intellectual rationale and activities that necessitate judgement become increasingly troublesome. Progressive strain in communication and serious corrosion of memory, language, and motor function causes forfeiture of coordination and failure to express one’s self both via pen and paper, and auditory words.
The countless health benefits resulting from exercise, including strength training, are well-established facts. However, several recent studies (as of 2012), suggest that not all forms of exercise produce the same benefits, particularly in regards to mental health. Cognitive decline is more of a pressing issue than most people realise, with a staggering one case documented worldwide every seven seconds!
Minor cognitive weakening is a well-recognised symptom of dementia, and represents an ideal chance for intervening and changing the course of mental decay in the elderly. A contemporary study, published on April 23rd (2012) in the Archives of Internal Medicine by researchers at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility at Vancouver Coastal Health and the University of British Columbia, demonstrated that applying a seniors’ exercise regime, explicitly one using strength training, can do just that. Possibly most notably, the exercise program enhanced the decision-making mental process of discriminating attention and conflict resolution abilities in addition to associative memory retention, which are strong forecasters for the progression of slight cognitive deficiency into dementia.
For six complete months, the staff monitored 86 elderly women with (credible) mental impairment and the results of which were evaluated using functional magnetic resonance imagery. These results advocated that strength training considerably enriched decision-making processes and associative memory performance. The crucial thing here is that strength training will develop two mental processes that are exceedingly sensitive to the results of aging and neurological erosion – executive function and associative memory – processes which are frequently compromised in initial stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
As a commonly available and cost-effective method of support, exercise has once again come up on top as a great tool for bettering the health of the individual!
- Bourgeois, Michelle S., and Ellen M. Hickey. Dementia: From Diagnosis to Management: A Functional Approach. New York: Psychology Press, 2009
- L. S. Nagamatsu, T. C. Handy, C. L. Hsu, M. Voss, T. Liu-Ambrose. “Resistance Training Promotes Cognitive and Functional Brain Plasticity in Seniors With Probable Mild Cognitive Impairment”. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2012; 172 (8)
- “Neurological Disorders: Alzheimer’s Disease.” Professional Guide to Diseases. 10th Edition. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013. 193-195.
- University of British Columbia (2012, April 23). Preventing dementia: Trajectory of cognitive decline can be altered in seniors at risk for dementia. Science Daily. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120423162403.htm