July 17, 2008 at 1:24 pm #28770
Note: this study is only based on cardio fitness tests, not qigong. But I think the spinal cord exercises in qigong (Marriage of Heaven & Earth in the Open Chi Flow in the Orbit and another variation in SexualVitality Qigong DVD) are directly targeting spinal fluid serum and chi flow to the brain. – Michael (on short break from teaching retreats).
EXERCISE AMPS UP ALZHEIMER¹S BRAIN?
STUDY: BEING FIT MAY REDUCE BRAIN SHRINKAGE IN EARLY ALZHEIMER¹S DISEASE
By Kelley Colihan
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
WebMD Health News
July 14, 2008
Chalk up another benefit of being physically fit, this time for people who
have early Alzheimer’s disease.
A new study links cardiorespiratory fitness to less brain shrinkage in
people with early Alzheimer’s disease.
Researcher Jeffrey M. Burns, MD, says in a news release that Alzheimer’s
patients were also compared to those who did not have the disease.
“People with early Alzheimer’s disease who were less physically fit had four
times more brain shrinkage when compared to normal older adults than those
who were more physically fit, suggesting less brain shrinkage related to the
Alzheimer’s disease process in those with higher fitness levels,” the
Researchers tested 121 people aged 60 or older. Fifty-seven of those had
early stages of Alzheimer’s disease; 64 others had no dementia.
The Alzheimer’s group was looked at for how fit participants were within
that group and also compared to a group with no dementia.
The participants were tested on treadmills to see what their peak oxygen
consumption (also known as VO2) was. The VO2 is the standard used to measure
cardiorespiratory fitness. They researchers used this measure to assess
physical activity level. The participants were also given mental assessments
and MRIs (magnetic reasoning imaging) to examine the gray and white matter
in their brains.
Burns is with the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He says the
results could show that exercise can be crucial to thinking clearly: “People
with early Alzheimer’s disease may be able to preserve their brain function
for a longer period of time by exercising regularly and potentially reducing
the amount of brain volume lost. Evidence shows decreasing brain volume is
tied to poorer cognitive performance, so preserving more brain volume may
translate into better cognitive performance.”
The study cites that other research in older adults who do not have
Alzheimer’s has shown that exercise can help keep the brain from changing
because of aging.
The researchers say their study is one of the first to look at how physical
fitness is related to Alzheimer’s disease.
They urge more research because the results were based on taking the
standard measure of fitness at just one time.
The study is published in the July 15 edition of Neurology.
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