Exercise programs for people with dementia

Fit body, fit brain?

Dementia is a serious loss of global cognitive ability, beyond what might be expected from normal aging, and is most commonly diagnosed among people over 65. It is becoming increasingly common as the population ages worldwide, and the number of people suffering with dementia is expected to rise dramatically. This will not only affect the quality of life of people with dementia but also increase the burden on family caregivers, community care, and residential care services.

There are several potential mechanisms that link exercise programs to cognitive function, including improved vascular function, which are associated in the maintenance of cerebral perfusion - i.e. balance between the supply and demand of nutrients to the brain. As a result, exercise is one lifestyle factor that has been identified as a potential means of reducing or delaying progression of the symptoms of dementia. 

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