Move it or lose it? Exercise could help keep dementia at bay

A UNIVERSITY of Southern Queensland researcher Edward Bliss said that more than half of Australian Dementia cases are preventable through healthy lifestyle choices.

"Dementia is the second leading case of death in Australia and the number of people living with dementia is expected to triple over the next 20-30 years," Mr Bliss said.

Dementia statistics estimate that in 2020 there are 459,000 Australians living with dementia and the number is expected to rise to 590,000 by 2028 making Mr Bliss's claim vital to dementia research.

USQ researcher Edward Bliss and Tricialla Roache
USQ researcher Edward Bliss and Tricialla Roache

Often associated with older people, people as young as 30 years can be diagnosed with the disease.

Mr Bliss's claims that if exercise improves the health of the heart and blood vessels in the body, the same should be true of small blood vessels in the brain.

"Our research team believes that if we can improve the health of these vessels, then we may be able to prevent or slow the progress of cognitive disorders, such as dementia," Mr Bliss said.

Mr Bliss and his team are still looking for candidates for the study.

"We are seeking older adults who are not physically active but are keen to see if aerobic exercise, such as fast-paced walking, can help them make a lifestyle change and improve their health and wellbeing," he said.

Participants will be divided into two different groups: an exercise group and a waitlist control group will exercise up to four times a week for 16 weeks under the supervision of an accredited exercise physiologist.

The study will bring together a team of experts in medical pathology, exercise science, cardiovascular physiology, psychology and biomedical science.

For more information or to participate in the study phone 4631 1488.



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