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Effectiveness of exercise on cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease

Authors Balsamo S, Willardson JM, Santana FS, Prestes J, Balsamo DC, Nascimento DC, dos Santos-Neto L, Nobrega OT

Received 24 June 2012

Accepted for publication 26 January 2013

Published 24 May 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 387—391


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Sandor Balsamo,1–4 Jeffrey M Willardson,5 Frederico Santos de Santana,1–4 Jonato Prestes,6 Denise Coscrato Balsamo,4 Dahan da Cunha Nascimento,3–6 Leopoldo dos Santos-Neto,1,2 Otávio T Nobrega1

1Graduate Program in Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Brasília, 2Rheumatology Division, University of Brasília Hospital, 3Department of Physical Education, Euro-American University Center, 4GEPEEFS (Strength Training and Health Research Group), Brasília, Brazil; 5Kinesiology and Sports Studies Department, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL, USA; 6Graduate Program in Physical Education and Health, Catholic University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil

Abstract: Physical activity has a protective effect on brain function in older people. Here, we briefly reviewed the studies and results related to the effects of exercise on cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. The main findings from the current body of literature indicate positive evidence for structured physical activity (cardiorespiratory and resistance exercise) as a promising non-pharmacological intervention for preventing cognitive decline. More studies are needed to determine the mechanisms involved in this preventative effect, including on strength, cardiorespiratory, and other types of exercise. Thus, the prevention of Alzheimer's disease may depend on healthy lifestyle habits, such as a structured physical fitness program.

Keywords: randomized controlled trial, memory disorders, healthy lifestyle habits, physical activity

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