Physical exercise is better than drugs to combat initial problems of memory and analysis capacity related to aging, according to a new treatment guide published today in the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).
The medical guide of the journal “Neurology” states that doctors “should recommend exercise twice a week to people with mild cognitive impairment to improve memory and the (process of) thinking.”
“Regular physical exercise has long been seen as beneficial for heart health and now we can say that it also helps improve memory for people with mild cognitive problems,” said Ronald Petersen, director of the Center for Disease Research. of Alzheimer’s at the Mayo Clinic.
“What’s good for your heart can be good for your brain,” said Dr. Petersen, lead author of the medical guide.
The researcher noted that “mild cognitive problems” are an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline with normal aging and a more severe decrease related to dementia.
Petersen recommends performing “aerobic exercise: fast walking, jogging, whatever you prefer to do, for 150 minutes a week in five 30-minute sessions or three 50-minute sessions.”
“Exercise can reduce the rate at which you can move from a mild cognitive impairment to dementia,” said the researcher, who is also director of the Mayo Clinic’s Study on Aging.
The guide, endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association, does not recommend changes in diet or medications and notes that “there are no drugs for mild problems of knowledge approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)”.
According to the AAN, more than 6% of people aged 60 to 69 years in the world suffer from mild problems of knowledge and the proportion increases to 37% in adults over 85 years.
“We do not have to look at aging as a passive process, we can do something about the course of our process, so if I’m destined to have cognitive problems at 72, I can exercise and delay it until I’m 75 or 78. That’s a great achievement “, considered the researcher.