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Weight training might slow memory decline, says study

A Canadian study found that seniors in the earliest stages of dementia improved their performance on cognitive tests after regular resistance training.

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Strength training may halt the effects of dementia according to a new study. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Strength training may help to reverse memory loss in elderly women in early stages of dementia, according to a new study.

CTV reported that researchers studied 86 women who were between the age of 70 and 80 and who had probable "mild cognitive impairment," for six months.

After weight training, researchers used MRIs to show increased blood flow to areas in the brain that were associated with memory and other cognitive functions.

Health Day reported that the study showed that aerobics-based activity did not show similar mental health benefits as weight training.

"What our results show is that resistance training can indeed improve both your cognitive performance and your brain function," she said in a statement," said Teresa Liu-Ambrose, the study's principal investigator, according to CTV.

"What is key is that it will improve two processes that are highly sensitive to the effects of aging and neurodegeneration: executive function and associative memory -- often impaired in early stages of Alzheimer's disease."

Medical XPress said that the research was the first to compare resistance and aerobic exercise to improve things like attention, memory, problem solving and decision making in older people.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility at Vancouver Coastal Health and the University of British Columbia.

The research was published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120423/weight-training-might-slow-memory-decline-says-study