Exercise/Athletic 1

Loneliness is bad for the heart

June 9, 2018

Science Daily/European Society of Cardiology

Loneliness is bad for the heart and a strong predictor of premature death, according to a new study. The study found that feeling lonely was a stronger predictor of poor outcomes than living alone, in both men and women.

 

"Loneliness is more common today than ever before, and more people live alone," said Anne Vinggaard Christensen, study author and PhD student, The Heart Centre, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark. "Previous research has shown that loneliness and social isolation are linked with coronary heart disease and stroke, but this has not been investigated in patients with different types of cardiovascular disease."

 

The study investigated whether poor social network was associated with worse outcomes in 13,463 patients with ischaemic heart disease, arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm), heart failure, or heart valve disease. Data from national registers was linked with the DenHeart survey, which asked all patients discharged from April 2013 to April 2014 from five heart centres in Denmark to answer a questionnaire about their physical and mental health, lifestyle factors such as smoking, and social support.

 

Social support was measured using registry data on living alone or not, and survey questions about feeling lonely -- Do you have someone to talk to when you need it? Do you feel alone sometimes even though you want to be with someone? "It was important to collect information on both, since people may live alone but not feel lonely while others cohabit but do feel lonely," explained Ms Vinggaard Christensen.

 

Feeling lonely was associated with poor outcomes in all patients regardless of their type of heart disease, and even after adjusting for age, level of education, other diseases, body mass index, smoking, and alcohol intake. Loneliness was associated with a doubled mortality risk in women and nearly doubled risk in men. Both men and women who felt lonely were three times more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depression, and had a significantly lower quality of life than those who did not feel lonely.

 

"Loneliness is a strong predictor of premature death, worse mental health, and lower quality of life in patients with cardiovascular disease, and a much stronger predictor than living alone, in both men and women," said Ms Vinggaard Christensen.

 

Ms Vinggaard Christensen noted that people with poor social support may have worse health outcomes because they have unhealthier lifestyles, are less compliant with treatment, and are more affected by stressful events. But she said: "We adjusted for lifestyle behaviours and many other factors in our analysis, and still found that loneliness is bad for health."

 

She concluded: "We live in a time when loneliness is more present and health providers should take this into account when assessing risk. Our study shows that asking two questions about social support provides a lot of information about the likelihood of having poor health outcomes."

 

European guidelines on cardiovascular prevention state that people who are isolated or disconnected from others are at increased risk of developing and dying prematurely from coronary artery disease. The guidelines recommend assessment of psychosocial risk factors in patients with established cardiovascular disease and those at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180609124652.htm

Short and long sleep durations lnked with excess heart age

Sleep duration and heart age may be a simplified way to express cardiovascular disease risk

June 4, 2018

Science Daily/American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Preliminary results from a new study show that excess heart age (EHA) appeared to be lowest among adults who reported sleeping seven hours per 24-hour period.

 

Results show that mean adjusted EHA was lowest among adults who reported sleeping seven hours per 24-hour period. Sleeping times less than or greater than seven hours were associated with increased excess heart age, and the highest elevations in EHA were noted in short sleepers. Sleep duration coupled with EHA may prove helpful for communicating the cardiovascular risks and benefits associated with sleep duration.

 

"These results are important because they demonstrate a quantitative method for the inclusion of sleep duration in the establishment and communication of cardiovascular risk for individuals. This could have utility in the clinical care of patients with cardiovascular risk, and for public health researchers interested in adding a sleep metric to future studies," said primary researcher and study author Julia Durmer, BS candidate, Emory University, the Center for the Study of Human Health and student researcher, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Heath in Atlanta, Ga.

 

The study involved 12,775 adults ranging in age from 30-74 years who responded to the 2007-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Self-reported sleep duration was classified into five categories (5 or less, 6, 7, 8, and 9 or more hours of sleep per night). They used the sex-specific Framingham heart age algorithm to calculate each individual's heart age and used multivariable linear or logistic regression to examine the association between sleep duration and EHA or risk of EHA 10 years or more.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180604093121.htm

New study sheds light on life satisfaction, mortality risk in older adults

June 8, 2015
Science Daily/Chapman University
Greater life satisfaction in adults older than 50 years of age is related to a reduced risk of mortality, new research shows. The researchers also found that variability in life satisfaction across time increases risk of mortality, but only among less satisfied people. The study involved nearly 4,500 participants who were followed for up to nine years.

'Although life satisfaction is typically considered relatively consistent across time, it may change in response to life circumstances such as divorce or unemployment,' said Julia Boehm, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Chapman University. 'Some people may adapt more readily to new situations and thus appear to have relatively stable life satisfaction, and others may not adapt as quickly. If people repeatedly encounter distressing life events that diminish their life satisfaction, then fluctuations in lower levels of satisfaction seem to be particularly harmful for longevity.'

In each year of the nine-year study, older men and women responded to the question, 'All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life?' Responses ranged from zero to 10, with 10 indicating greater life satisfaction. The researchers assessed both average life satisfaction across time and the variability in life satisfaction across time. Other factors accounted for in the study included age, gender, education, health conditions, smoking status, physical activity, and depressive symptoms.

Over the course of the study, the researchers learned that as participants' life satisfaction increased, the risk of mortality was reduced by 18 percent. By contrast, greater variability in life satisfaction was associated with a 20 percent increased risk of mortality. In combination, individuals with high levels of life satisfaction tended to have reduced risk of mortality regardless of how their life satisfaction varied over time.

'This is the first study to consider the effects of life satisfaction on the risk of mortality when life satisfaction is summarized across as many as nine repeated assessments,' Boehm said. 'Having multiple assessments of life satisfaction also allowed us to examine how variability in satisfaction across time might be related to longevity, which has never been investigated before.'

Taken together, the findings from this study suggest that fluctuating levels of life satisfaction matter for mortality risk only when life satisfaction is also relatively low. Extreme variability in psychological states is often associated with mental-health disorders, so considering the variability in psychological characteristics can add insight into health-related outcomes such as longevity.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150608152028.htm

Exercise can improve brain function in older adults

Science Daily/July 15, 2015
Science Daily/University of Kansas Medical Center
Older adults can improve brain function by raising their fitness level, new research suggests. The research indicated that the intensity of the exercise appeared to matter more than the duration.

Jeffrey Burns, M.D., professor of neurology and co-director of the KU Alzheimer's Disease Center, led a six-month trial conducted with healthy adults ages 65 and older who showed no signs of cognitive decline. The results of the study were published on July 9 in the journal PLOS ONE.

The randomized controlled trial attempted to determine the ideal amount of exercise necessary to achieve benefits to the brain. Trial participants were placed in a control group that did not have monitored exercise, or they were put into one of three other groups. One group moderately exercised for the recommended amount of 150 minutes per week, a second exercised for 75 minutes per week, and a third group exercised for 225 minutes per week.

All groups who exercised saw some benefit, and those who exercised more saw more benefits, particularly in improved visual-spatial processing -- the ability to perceive where objects are in space and how far apart they are from each other. Participants who exercised also showed an increase in their overall attention levels and ability to focus.

"Basically, the more exercise you did, the more benefit to the brain you saw," Burns said. "Any aerobic exercise was good, and more is better."

The research indicated that the intensity of the exercise appeared to matter more than the duration.

"For improved brain function, the results suggest that it's not enough just to exercise more," said Eric Vidoni, PT, Ph.D., research associate professor of neurology at KU Medical Center and a lead author of the journal article. "You have to do it in a way that bumps up your overall fitness level."

Marjorie Troeh, of Independence, Mo., participated in the trial. Troeh, 80, was placed in the lowest level of exercise group. She said she signed up for the study in part to motivate herself to exercise more.

"I love exercising my mind, but I hate exercising my body," she said, adding that the findings about the exercise being linked to better brain function were new to her. "I knew about the evidence that said exercise was good for endurance and agility, but I really didn't make any connection with that and brain health."

Troeh, who lives an independent living facility, said she was glad to have the opportunity to contribute to the fight against Alzheimer's by participating in a trial, as she had a grandmother and an aunt who battled the disease.

"I'm surrounded by people who face memory problems," she said. "I'm really anxious to do anything I can to further knowledge in this area."

Scientists at the KU Alzheimer's Disease Center have focused on the relationship between exercise and brain metabolism for years and are conducting a number of research studies on how exercise may help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150715122532.htm

Climbing a tree can improve cognitive skills

July 29, 2015
Science Daily/University of North Florida
Climbing a tree and balancing on a beam can dramatically improve cognitive skills, according to a study. The findings suggest working memory improvements can be made in just a couple of hours of these types of physical exercises.

The study, led by Drs. Ross Alloway, a research associate, and Tracy Alloway, an associate professor, is the first to show that proprioceptively dynamic activities, like climbing a tree, done over a short period of time have dramatic working memory benefits. Working Memory, the active processing of information, is linked to performance in a wide variety of contexts from grades to sports.

The results of this research, recently published in Perceptual and Motor Skills, suggest working memory improvements can be made in just a couple of hours of these physical exercises. "Improving working memory can have a beneficial effect on so many areas in our life, and it's exciting to see that proprioceptive activities can enhance it in such a short period of time," said Tracy Alloway.

The aim of this study was to see if proprioceptive activities completed over a short period of time can enhance working memory performance. Proprioception, the awareness of body positioning and orientation, is associated with working memory. It was also of interest whether an acute and highly intensive period of exercise would yield working memory gains.

The UNF researchers recruited adults ages 18 to 59 and tested their working memory. Next, they undertook proprioceptively dynamic activities, designed by the company Movnat, which required proprioception and at least one other element, such as locomotion or route planning.

In the study, such activities included climbing trees, walking and crawling on a beam approximately 3 inches wide, moving while paying attention to posture, running barefoot, navigating over, under and around obstacles, as well as lifting and carrying awkwardly weighted objects. After two hours, participants were tested again, and researchers found that their working memory capacity had increased by 50 percent, a dramatic improvement.

The researchers also tested two control groups. The first was a college class learning new information in a lecture setting to see if learning new information improved working memory. The second was a yoga class to see if static proprioceptive activities were cognitively beneficial. However, neither control group experienced working memory benefits.

Proprioceptively dynamic training may place a greater demand on working memory than either control condition because as environment and terrain changes, the individual recruits working memory to update information to adapt appropriately. Though the yoga control group engaged in proprioceptive activities that required awareness of body position, it was relatively static as they performed the yoga postures in a small space, which didn't allow for locomotion or navigation.

"This research suggests that by doing activities that make us think, we can exercise our brains as well as our bodies," said Ross Alloway. "This research has wide-ranging implications for everyone from kids to adults. By taking a break to do activities that are unpredictable and require us to consciously adapt our movements, we can boost our working memory to perform better in the classroom and the boardroom."
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150729102407.htm

Higher intelligence score means better physical performance

August 14, 2015
Science Daily/University of Copenhagen The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
New research reveals a distinct association between male intelligence in early adulthood and their subsequent midlife physical performance. The higher intelligence score, the better physical performance, the study reveals.

We would all like to stay independent, as we get older. In order to succeed, we need to be in good physical shape. This includes being able to cope with everyday physical activities such as getting dressed and carrying our own shopping. Scientists employ a number of tests, e.g. handgrip strength, balance and chair-rise, when measuring physical performance.

Researchers at the Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen have studied the association between male intelligence in early adulthood and their subsequent physical performance, aged 48-56. The study comprised 2,848 Danish males born in 1953 and in 1959-61, and the results have just been published in the scientific Journal of Aging and Health.

Avoiding decrease in physical performance in old age

"Our study clearly shows that the higher intelligence score in early adulthood, the stronger the participants' back, legs and hands are in midlife. Their balance is also better. Former studies have taught us that the better the results of these midlife tests, the greater the chance of avoiding a decrease in physical performance in old age," says PhD student Rikke Hodal Meincke from the Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Public Health.

With a 10-point increase in intelligence score, the results revealed a 0,5 kg increase in lower back force, 1 cm increase in jumping height -- an expression of leg muscle power, 0.7 kg increase in hand-grip strength, 3.7% improved balance, and 1.1 more chair-rises in 30 seconds.
 

Easier to stay physically active throughout life

"A feasible explanation for this connection between male intelligence in early adulthood and their midlife physical performance could be that people with a higher intelligence score find it easier to understand and interpret health information and thus have a healthier lifestyle, they may, for instance, exercise more regularly. Exercise can thus be viewed as a mechanism that explains the connection between intelligence and physical performance," Rikke Hodal Meincke elaborates.

She believes that the study's results are important for the future planning and targeting of initiatives that may help improve or maintain elderly peoples' physical performance. By way of example, this could include making it easier for everybody, regardless of abilities, to remain physically active throughout their lives. She does, however, stress that more studies are needed, in order to examine mechanisms that reveal exactly where to set in.

Previous research has shown that exercise, health status and socio-economics influence physical performance. Furthermore, childhood factors may also influence physical performance in later life.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150814101523.htm

Why does running make us happy?

September 1, 2015
Science Daily/University of Montreal
The joy of running. That sense of well-being, freedom and extra energy that runners often experience is not just a matter of endorphins. A new study shows that the "runner's high" phenomenon is also caused by dopamine, an important neurotransmitter for motivation.
http://images.sciencedaily.com/2015/08/150831085456_1_540x360.jpg
A new study shows that the "runner's high" phenomenon is also caused by dopamine, an important neurotransmitter for motivation.
Credit: © Martinan / Fotoli

"We discovered that the rewarding effects of endurance activity are modulated by leptin, a key hormone in metabolism. Leptin inhibits physical activity through dopamine neurons in the brain," said Stephanie Fulton, a researcher at the CRCHUM and lead author of an article published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Secreted by adipose tissue, leptin helps control the feeling of satiety. This hormone also influences physical activity. "The more fat there is, the more leptin there is and and the less we feel like eating. Our findings now show that this hormone also plays a vital role in motivation to run, which may be related to searching for food," explained Stephanie Fulton, who is also a professor at Université de Montréal's Department of Nutrition.

Hormone signals that modulate feeding and exercise are in fact believed to be closely linked. Endurance running capacity in mammals, particularly humans, is thought to have evolved to maximize the chances of finding food. This study suggests that leptin plays a critical role both in regulating energy balance and encouraging behaviours that are "rewarding" for the person's metabolism, i.e., engaging in physical activity to find food.

The researchers studied voluntary wheel running in mice in cages. These mice can run up to seven kilometres a day. In a laboratory, the physical activity of normal mice was compared with that of mice who underwent a genetic modification to suppress a molecule activated by leptin, STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription-3). The STAT3 molecule is found in the neurons that synthesize dopamine in the midbrain. This "mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway" is a like a motivational highway in the brain.

"Mice that do not have the STAT3 molecule in the dopaminergic neurons run substantially more. Conversely, normal mice are less active because leptin then activates STAT3 in the dopamine neurons, signalling that energy reserves in the body are sufficient and that there is no need to get active and go looking for food," explained Maria Fernanda Fernandes, first author of the study.

And is leptin as important for motivation to be active in humans? Yes. "Previous studies have clearly shown a correlation between leptin and marathon run times. The lower leptin levels are, the better the performance. Our study on mice suggests that this molecule is also involved in the rewarding effects experienced when we do physical exercise. We speculate that for humans, low leptin levels increase motivation to exercise and make it easier to get a runner's high," summed up Stephanie Fulton.

Mice, humans and mammals in general are thought to have evolved to increase the return on effective food acquisition behaviours. Ultimately, hormones are sending the brain a clear message: when food is scarce, it's fun to run to chase some down.

Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150831085456.htm

Types of athletic training affect how brain communicates with muscles

September 18, 2015
Science Daily/University of Kansas
The brains of endurance trainers communicate with muscles differently than those of strength trainers or sedentary individuals, new research shows. While it is not immediately clear why the communication between the brain and muscle was different as a result of different types of exercise, one researcher said it offers leads for new means of research into neuromechanical differences in muscle function, muscle performance, muscle stiffness and other areas.

Using endurance training or strength and resistance training not only prepares an athlete for different types of sports, they can also change the way the brain and muscles communicate with each other.

A University of Kansas study shows that the communication between the brain and quadriceps muscles of people who take part in endurance training, such as running long distances, is different than those who regularly took part in resistance training and those who were sedentary. The findings may offer clues to the type of physical activity humans are most naturally suited to.

Trent Herda, assistant professor of health, sport and exercise sciences, and Michael Trevino, a doctoral student, conducted studies in which they measured muscle responses of five people who regularly run long distances, five who regularly lift weights and five sedentary individuals who regularly do neither. The studies have been published in the Journal of Sports Sciences and Muscle and Nerve.

Among the findings, Herda and Trevino showed that the quadriceps muscle fibers of the endurance trainers were able to fire more rapidly.

"The communication between the brains and their muscles was slightly different than the resistance trainers and sedentary individuals," Herda said of endurance trainers. "This information also suggested that resistance trainers and those who are sedentary were more likely to fatigue sooner, among other things."

Survey participants were 15 healthy volunteers. The endurance trainers had consistently taken part in a structured running program for at least three years prior to the study and ran an average of 61 miles a week and did not take part in resistance training. The resistance trainers had consistently taken part in a weight-training program for at least four years prior to the study. They took part in resistance training four to eight hours per week and reported doing at least one repetition of a back squat of twice their body mass. One reported doing a squat of 1.5 times his or her body weight, but none engaged in aerobic activity such as swimming, jogging or cycling. The sedentary participants did not take part in any structured physical exercise for three years prior to the study.

Participants wore mechanomyographic and electromyographic electrode sensors on their quadriceps muscle and extended their leg while seated. The researchers measured submaximal contraction and total force by having participants extend their leg, then exert more force, attempting to achieve from 40 to 70 percent of total force, which they could see represented in real time on a computer screen.

While it is not immediately clear why the communication between the brain and muscle was different as a result of different types of exercise as evidenced by the difference in rates of muscle fibers firing, Herda said it offers leads for new means of research into neuromechanical differences in muscle function, muscle performance, muscle stiffness and other areas. It also provides several clues into the type of exercise humans are more naturally built for. While not claiming that one type of exercise or sport is superior to another, Herda said the findings suggest that the human body's neuromuscular system may be more naturally inclined to adapt to aerobic exercise than resistance training for strength as the communication between the brain and muscles was similar between resistance training and sedentary individuals.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150918132022.htm

The link between imagery and performance

December 23, 2015
Science Daily/New Mexico State University (NMSU)
Imagine standing on a basketball court, throwing the basketball and watching it arc into the net. Chances are you’ll make that shot without a problem if you’ve been practicing, according to new research.
https://images.sciencedaily.com/2015/12/151223165503_1_540x360.jpg
Former NMSU soccer player Katelyn Smith participates in an anticipation timing study in professor Phillip Post’s laboratory. Post is exploring the link between athletic performance and imagery in hopes of using his research in clinical settings.
Credit: NMSU photo by Adriana M. Chavez

Chances are you'll make that shot without a problem if you've been practicing on the court regularly, according to research by Phillip Post, associate professor in the Kinesiology and Dance Department in the College of Education at New Mexico State University. Post is studying the link between imagery and how it impacts motor learning and sport performance. Recently, Post presented his research at an international conference at Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua.

"Specifically, I presented research, mostly research that I conducted, on the efficacy of using imagery to enhance learning or motor performance of well-rehearsed tasks," Post said. "The research presented suggests that imagery might be effective for enhancing learner's skill acquisition of tasks that contain greater cognitive elements, such as tasks that require decision making or remembering a sequence or pattern, as opposed to motor elements, or tasks that require correct skill execution, like a soccer kick. However, with more experienced performers imagery appears to be effective on a range of tasks, including both motor and cognitive. In addition to this research I discussed imagery theories and how to best apply the mental skill."

At his lab on campus, Post is exploring two different lines of research. One looks at the application of imagery, particularly looking at allowing learners to acquire new skills and seeing how mentally rehearsing a particular sports skill or motor task affects their skill acquisition of it. The other looks at how imagery enhances the performance of well-rehearsed skills.

"We look at that in terms of the mental strategy of learning and also in terms of sport performance. We also do some basic motor learning types of experiments in here to see what practice conditions facilitate skill acquisition," Post said. "We want to apply these not only to instructional settings but also to rehab settings, where practitioners need to design practice protocols that are going to facilitate their patients' skill acquisition skills or help them relearn skills."

As part of his research, Post uses an anticipation timing device where participants use a ping pong paddle to time their swing as a line of light bulbs turn on, mimicking the path of a ping pong ball.

"When you try to catch a baseball or an object, you have to be able to time it so that when the object arrives to you, you have your hands up with the arrival of that particular ball or object," Post said. "It's pretty prominent with a lot of daily skills, things such as driving or sports. We want to be on target so that we are arriving at the location of where that ball or that object is going to be."

Post said the device allows him to measure to the millisecond how good participants are at timing their responses. He uses three groups to conduct his research: a group that physically practices their timing, a group that images their timing and a "combo" group that prepares both physically and mentally. He also uses a control group.

"With this apparatus, we want to know can learners improve their ability to intercept a light upon its arrival at a target location," Post said. "How does mentally rehearsing affect a participant's ability to learn this particular task?"

Ray Delgado, an NMSU kinesiology major and Post's undergraduate research assistant, said he became interested in the research after playing college baseball for three years.

"I was taking sports psychology with Dr. Post and he talked about the different things we've worked on in here. It really sparked my interest," said Delgado, who plans to pursue a doctoral degree in physical therapy. "In the long run, this helps me see how I can apply some of these strategies in therapy to see how we can use imagery in therapy and assist the rehab process."

Post said he hopes that in the near future, his research will help patients who have suffered a stroke or have been diagnosed with diseases such as Parkinson's.

"We hope to run interventions or studies to help the various clinical populations reacquire tasks faster and reduce their physical therapy time," Post said.

Robert Wood, the interim associate dean of research for the College of Education, said he's impressed with Post's work.

"The imagery work has many important applications, including human performance and rehabilitation," Wood said. "I am very excited about Dr. Post's work, not only because of the relevance to contemporary issues, but also because of the high quality of the work. We are quite fortunate to have him."
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151223165503.htm

Early-life exercise alters gut microbes, promotes healthy brain and metabolism

December 29, 2015
Science Daily/University of Colorado at Boulder
The human gut harbors a teeming menagerie of over 100 trillion microorganisms, and researchers have discovered that exercising early in life can alter that microbial community for the better, promoting healthier brain and metabolic activity over the course of a lifetime.
https://images.sciencedaily.com/2015/12/151229204252_1_540x360.jpg
This is a picture of microbes under a microscope.
Credit: Photo by NIAID

The research, which was recently published in the journal Immunology and Cell Biology, indicates that there may be a window of opportunity during early human development to optimize the chances of better lifelong health.

"Exercise affects many aspects of health, both metabolic and mental, and people are only now starting to look at the plasticity of these gut microbes," said Monika Fleshner, a professor in CU-Boulder's Department of Integrative Physiology and the senior author of the new study. "That is one of the novel aspects of this research."

Microbes take up residence within human intestines shortly after birth and are vital to the development of the immune system and various neural functions. These microbes can add as many 5 million genes to a person's overall genetic profile and thus have tremendous power to influence aspects of human physiology.

While this diverse microbial community remains somewhat malleable throughout adult life and can be influenced by environmental factors such as diet and sleep patterns, the researchers found that gut microorganisms are especially 'plastic' at a young age.

The study found that juvenile rats who voluntarily exercised every day developed a more beneficial microbial structure, including the expansion of probiotic bacterial species in their gut compared to both their sedentary counterparts and adult rats, even when the adult rats exercised as well.

The researchers have not, as of yet, pinpointed an exact age range when the gut microbe community is likeliest to change, but the preliminary findings indicate that earlier is better.

A robust, healthy community of gut microbes also appears to promote healthy brain function and provide anti-depressant effects, Fleshner said. Previous research has shown that the human brain responds to microbial signals from the gut, though the exact communication methods are still under investigation.

"Future research on this microbial ecosystem will hone in on how these microbes influence brain function in a long-lasting way," said Agniezka Mika, a graduate researcher in CU-Boulder's Department of Integrative Physiology and the lead author of the new study.

Going forward, the researchers also plan to explore novel means of encouraging positive gut microbe plasticity in adults, who tend to have stable microbial communities that are more resistant to change.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151229204252.htm

Exercise reduces suicide attempts by 23 percent among bullied teens

September 21, 2015
Science Daily/University of Vermont
As high schools across the country continue to reduce physical education, recess, and athletic programs, a new study shows that regular exercise significantly reduces both suicidal thoughts and attempts among students who are bullied.

Using data from the CDC's National Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 13,583 high school students, researchers at the University of Vermont found that being physically active four or more days per week resulted in a 23 percent reduction in suicidal ideation and attempts in bullied students. Nationwide nearly 20 percent of students reported being bullied on school property.

Previous studies have shown that exercise has positive effects on various mental health measures. This is the first, however, to show a link between physical activity and a reduction in suicidal thoughts and attempts by bullied students, who are also at increased risk for poor academic performance, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, sadness and substance abuse.

Overall, 30 percent of students in the study reported feeling sad for two or more weeks in the previous year while more than 22 percent reported suicidal ideation and 8.2 percent reported actual suicidal attempts during the same time period. Bullied students were twice as likely to report sadness, and three times as likely to report suicidal ideation or attempt when compared to peers who were not bullied. Exercise on four or more days per week was also associated with significant reductions in sadness.

"I was surprised that it was that significant and that positive effects of exercise extended to kids actually trying to harm themselves," said lead author Jeremy Sibold, associate professor and chair of the Department Rehabilitation and Movement Science. "Even if one kid is protected because we got them involved in an after-school activity or in a physical education program it's worth it."

High schools cutting physical edcuation programs nationwide

The release of Sibold's study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry comes at a time when 44 percent of the nation's school administrators have cut significant amounts of time from physical education, arts and recess so that more time could be devoted to reading and mathematics since the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2001, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The same report showed that the percentage of schools offering physical education daily or at least three days a week has declined dramatically between 2001 and 2006.

Overall, it is estimated that only about half of America's youth meet the current evidence-based guideline of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department of at least 60 minutes of vigorous or moderate-intensity physical activity daily. In its biennial survey of high school students across the nation, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly half said they had no physical education classes in an average week.

"It's scary and frustrating that exercise isn't more ubiquitous and that we don't encourage it more in schools," says Sibold. "Instead, some kids are put on medication and told 'good luck.' If exercise reduces sadness, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts, then why in the world are we cutting physical education programs and making it harder for students to make athletic teams at such a critical age?"

Sibold and his co-authors, Erika Edwards, research assistant professor in the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Dianna Murray-Close, associate professor in psychology, and psychiatry professor James J. Hudziak, who has published extensively on the positive effects of exercise on mental health outcomes, say they hope their paper increases the consideration of exercise programs as part of the public health approach to reduce suicidal behavior in all adolescents.

"Considering the often catastrophic and long lasting consequences of bullying in school-aged children, novel, accessible interventions for victims of such conduct are sorely needed," they conclude.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150921095433.htm

Lack of exercise linked to alcohol misuse

African-Americans who did not engage in physical activity were nearly twice as likely to abuse alcohol

November 2, 2015
Science Daily/Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
A large-scale survey of African-American men and women found that those who rarely or never exercised had about twice the odds of abusing alcohol than those who exercised frequently, a finding that could have implications across all groups.

The survey of 5,002 African-American men and women found that those who did not engage in physical activity at all or only occasionally had nearly double the chance -- between a 84 percent and 88 percent higher odds -- of abusing alcohol than those who regularly engaged in some form of physical activity. This was after adjusting for demographic factors such as income and neighborhood characteristics.

Survey participants were drawn from the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), a study that took place between 2001 and 2003 and aimed to identify racial and ethnic differences in mental disorders and other psychological distress, including those used by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The study used the DSM-IV definition of alcohol abuse, which is defined as drinking that has negative social, professional and/or legal consequences.

The survey finding will be presented at the American Public Health Association meeting in Chicago on Nov. 2.

"There have been studies of the association between substance use and related comorbid health conditions, such as depression and anxiety," notes April Joy Damian, a doctoral student in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the study's author. "There has been little research that has examined the connection between exercise and decreased odds of alcohol use disorder.

"Because the NSAL study was essentially a snapshot that was taken at one point in time, we can't say that engaging in physical activity will prevent people from developing alcohol use disorder or that alcohol use disorder can be treated with physical activity," Damian says. "Given that alcohol use disorder has a high rate of co-occurrence for depression and anxiety, it merits further study all around, for African Americans as well as others. We should consider how physical activity contributes to alcohol-related behavior and design interventions for people who are at risk."

Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151102152548.htm

Faster brain waves make shorter gaps in visual stream

November 10, 2015
Science Daily/University of Wisconsin-Madison
'Blink and you'll miss it' isn't only for eyelids. The human brain also blinks, dropping a few frames of visual information here and there. Those lapses of attention come fast -- maybe just once every tenth of a second. But some people may be missing more than others, according to psychologists.

Those lapses of attention come fast -- maybe just once every tenth of a second. But some people may be missing more than others, according to psychologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"Intuitively we have this sense that we're viewing the world in a continuous stream, constantly taking in the same amount of information," says Jason Samaha, a UW-Madison doctoral student in psychology. "So if I told people that every 100 milliseconds their brains were taking a bit of a break, I think that would surprise a lot of them."

Samaha and UW-Madison psychology Professor Brad Postle have drawn a connection between that quick blink in the visual processing system and a rhythmic pattern in the brain's electrical activity called the alpha oscillation.

Alpha oscillations are regular fluctuations in the electrical activity in the back of the human brain -- an area that includes the visual cortex, responsible for processing signals from the eyes. These alpha oscillations rise and fall endlessly, tracing a wave-like thrum of brain activity.

Recently, brain researchers demonstrated that our visual acuity is at its best when a visual stimulus appears as the alpha wave is near a certain peak. The farther from that peak, the more likely a flash of visual information falls on the retina without consciously registering on the viewer.

"That made us wonder: Maybe this is a neural marker that can predict the rate at which we sample the world visually," says Samaha, whose work on that marker was published recently in the journal Current Biology. "Someone with a faster alpha oscillation has more of those peaks. It's almost as if they're sampling the world more frequently than someone with a slower alpha oscillation."

To test that idea, Samaha sat people in front of a screen and asked them to watch closely spaced flashes of light. Their alpha oscillations were recorded before and during the task.

"The flashes can be so close together that they appear to be one," Samaha says. "A delay of 10 milliseconds (just one-hundredth of a second), for example, is just too fast for you to perceive two flashes."

The longer the delay between flashes, the more likely the test subjects could correctly discern two flashes from one. But the subjects began to sort themselves out based on alpha frequency.

"People with a faster alpha frequency can perceive two flashes with a significantly shorter gap between them -- maybe 25 milliseconds," says Samaha, "whereas someone with a slower alpha frequency can't perceive two flashes until they have closer to 45 milliseconds delay."

The faster the regular rhythm of the working brain (represented by alpha oscillation), the more fine-grained the resolution in visual perception.

Of course, precious few discrete events take place within a couple dozen milliseconds. Blinking eyelids can take 400 milliseconds -- a relatively pregnant pause -- to close and reopen. But in cases where physical reaction time is at a premium, every bit helps.

Samaha thinks of a baseball player. In the 400 milliseconds it takes a professionally thrown fastball to reach the plate, the batter has to budget time for locating the baseball, identifying its spin, deciding whether and where to swing, and actually whipping the bat around to the right spot.

"In a very brief window of time, you have to choose to begin a reaction and where to direct it," says Samaha. "Having finer resolution may help in cases like that. Maybe good hitters -- and other people who can react quickly to a visual stimulus -- have very fast alpha oscillations."

World Series outcomes aside, Samaha sees the study's results contributing to deeper discussions of how we relate to the world around us.

"The more interesting implications of the research concern what constitutes our conscious visual perception of the world," he says. "We seem to find a neural marker of conscious visual updating, and that's interesting to a lot of people who are looking for neural correlates of consciousness."
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151110171354.htm

How exercise may energize brain cell function

November 19, 2015
Science Daily/Johns Hopkins Medicine
As we age or develop neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, our brain cells may not produce sufficient energy to remain fully functional. Researchers have discovered that an enzyme called SIRT3 that is located in mitochondria — the cell's powerhouse — may protect mice brains against the kinds of stresses believed to contribute to energy loss. Furthermore, mice that ran on a wheel increased their levels of this protective enzyme.

Researchers led by Mark Mattson, Ph.D., of the National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, used a new animal model to investigate whether they could aid neurons in resisting the energy-depleting stress caused by neurotoxins and other factors. They found the following:

•    Mice models that did not produce SIRT3 became highly sensitive to stress when exposed to neurotoxins that cause neurodegeneration and epileptic seizures.
•    
* Running wheel exercise increased the amount of SIRT3 in neurons of normal mice and protected them against degeneration; in those lacking the enzyme, running failed to protect the neurons.

* Neurons could be protected against stress through use of a gene therapy technology to increase levels of SIRT3 in neurons.

These findings suggest that bolstering mitochondrial function and stress resistance by increasing SIRT3 levels may offer a promising therapeutic target for protecting against age-related cognitive decline and brain diseases. The research team report their findings online Nov. 19 in the journal Cell Metabolism.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151119122623.htm

Improving fitness may counteract brain atrophy in older adults

Exercise may help to reverse neurodegeneration in those with mild cognitive impairment, an early stage of Alzheimer's disease

November 19, 2015
Science Daily/University of Maryland
Older adults that improved their fitness through a moderate intensity exercise program increased the thickness of their brain's cortex, the outer layer of the brain that typically atrophies with Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study. These effects were found in both healthy older adults and those diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, an early stage of Alzheimer's disease.

"Exercise may help to reverse neurodegeneration and the trend of brain shrinkage that we see in those with MCI and Alzheimer's," says Dr. J. Carson Smith, associate professor of kinesiology and senior author of the study, published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society on Nov. 19, 2015. "Many people think it is too late to intervene with exercise once a person shows symptoms of memory loss, but our data suggest that exercise may have a benefit in this early stage of cognitive decline."
The previously physically inactive participants (ages 61-88) were put on an exercise regimen that included moderate intensity walking on a treadmill four times a week over a twelve-week period. On average, cardiorespiratory fitness improved by about 8% as a result of the training in both the healthy and MCI participants.

The atrophy of the brain's cortical layer is a marker of Alzheimer's disease progression and correlates with symptoms including cognitive impairment. Dr. Smith and colleagues found that the study participants who showed the greatest improvements in fitness had the most growth in the cortical layer, including both the group diagnosed with MCI and the healthy elders. While both groups showed strong associations between increased fitness and increased cortical thickness after the intervention, the MCI participants showed greater improvements compared to healthy group in the left insula and superior temporal gyrus, two brain regions that have been shown to exhibit accelerated neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Smith previously reported that the participants in this exercise intervention showed improvements in neural efficiency during memory recall, and these new data add to the evidence for the positive impact of exercise on cognitive function. Other research he has published has also shown that moderate intensity physical activity, such as walking for 30 minutes 3-4 days per week, may protect brain health by staving off shrinkage of the hippocampus in older adults.

This is the first study to show that exercise and improved fitness can impact cortical thickness in older adults diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. Dr. Smith plans future studies that include more participants engaging in a longer-term exercise intervention to see if greater improvements can be seen over time, and if the effects persist over the long term. The key unanswered question is if regular moderate intensity physical activity could reverse or delay cognitive decline and help keep people out of nursing homes and enable them to maintain their independence as they age.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151119113458.htm

Physical activity linked to better memory among older adults

November 24, 2015
Science Daily/Boston University Medical Center
Could staying physically active improve quality of life by delaying cognitive decline and prolonging an independent lifestyle? A new study has found that older adults who take more steps either by walking or jogging perform better on memory tasks than those who are more sedentary.

The study examines the relationship between physical activity, memory and cognition in young and old adults. It appears online in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

The study included 29 young adults (ages 18-31) and 31 older adults (ages 55-82) who wore a small device called an ActiGraph, which recorded information including how many steps each took, how vigorous the steps were and how much time it involved. Participants also completed neuropsychological testing to assess their memory, planning and problem-solving abilities. In addition to standardized neuropsychological tasks of executive function (planning and organization abilities) and long-term memory, participants engaged in a laboratory task in which they had to learn face-name associations.

The researchers found that older adults who took more steps per day had better memory performance. The association between the number of steps taken was strongest with a task that required recalling which name went with a person's face--the same type of everyday task that older adults often have difficulty with. In young adults, the number of steps taken was not associated with memory performance.

According to the researchers these findings demonstrate that the effects of physical activity extend to long-term memory--the same type of memory that is negatively impacted by aging and neurodegenerative dementias such as Alzheimer's disease. ''Our findings that physical activity is positively associated with memory is appealing for a variety of reasons. Everyone knows that physical activity is a critical component to ward off obesity and cardiovascular-related disease. Knowing that a lack of physical activity may negatively impact one's memory abilities will be an additional piece of information to motivate folks to stay more active," explained corresponding author Scott Hayes, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and the Associate Director of the Neuroimaging Research for Veterans Center at the VA Boston Healthcare System.

The authors point out that staying physically active can take a variety of forms from formal exercise programs to small changes, such as walking or taking the stairs. "More research is needed to explore the specific mechanisms of how physical activity may positively impact brain structure and function as well as to clarify the impact of specific exercise programs (e.g., strength, aerobic, or combined training) or dose of exercise (frequency, intensity, duration) on a range of cognitive functions,'' added Hayes.

The authors emphasize that the objective measurement of physical activity was a key component of the current study, as the majority of studies to date have used self-report questionnaires, which can be impacted by memory failures or biases.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151124155437.htm

Physical activity may leave the brain more open to change

December 7, 2015
Science Daily/Cell Press
Learning, memory, and brain repair depend on the ability of our neurons to change with experience. Now, researchers have evidence from a small study in people that exercise may enhance this essential plasticity of the adult brain.
https://images.sciencedaily.com/2015/12/151207131508_1_540x360.jpg
This is an artistic representation of the take home messages in Lunghi and Sale: "A cycling lane for brain rewiring," which is that physical activity (such as cycling) is associated with increased brain plasticity.
Credit: Dafne Lunghi Art

The findings focused on the visual cortex come as hopeful news for people with conditions including amblyopia (sometimes called lazy eye), traumatic brain injury, and more, the researchers say.

"We provide the first demonstration that moderate levels of physical activity enhance neuroplasticity in the visual cortex of adult humans," says Claudia Lunghi of the University of Pisa in Italy.

"By showing that moderate levels of physical activity can boost the plastic potential of the adult visual cortex, our results pave the way to the development of non-invasive therapeutic strategies exploiting the intrinsic brain plasticity in adult subjects," she adds.

The plastic potential of the cerebral cortex is greatest early in life, when the developing brain is molded by experience. Brain plasticity is generally thought to decline with age. This decline in the brain's flexibility over time is especially pronounced in the sensory brain, which displays far less plasticity in adults than in younger people.

Lunghi and colleague Alessandro Sale of the National Research Council's Neuroscience Institute were inspired to explore the role of physical activity in brain plasticity by experiments that Sale conducted previously in laboratory animals. Those studies showed that animals performing physical activity--for example rats running on a wheel--showed elevated levels of plasticity in the visual cortex and improved recovery from amblyopia in comparison to more sedentary animals.

To find out whether the same might hold true for people, the researchers measured the residual plastic potential of the adult visual cortex in humans using a simple test of binocular rivalry. Most of the time, our eyes work together. But when people have one eye patched for a short period of time, the closed eye becomes stronger as the visual brain attempts to compensate for the lack of visual input. The strength of the resulting imbalance between the eyes is a measure of the brain's visual plasticity and can be tested by presenting each eye with incompatible images.

In the new study, Lunghi and Sale put 20 adults through this test twice; in one deprivation test, participants with one eye patched watched a movie while relaxing in a chair. In the other test, participants with one eye patched exercised on a stationary bike for ten-minute intervals during the movie. The results were clear: brain plasticity was enhanced by the exercise.

"We found that if, during the two hours of eye patching, the subject intermittently cycles, the perceptual effect of eye patching on binocular rivalry is stronger compared to a condition in which, during the two hours of patching, the subject watches a movie while sitting on a chair. That is, after physical activity, the eye that was patched is strongly potentiated, indicating increased levels of brain plasticity."

While further study is needed, the researchers think that this effect may result from a decrease with exercise in an inhibitory neurotransmitter called GABA. As concentrations of this inhibitory nerve messenger decline, the brain becomes more responsive.

Regardless of the mechanism, the findings suggest that exercise plays an important role in brain health and recovery. They come as especially good news for people with amblyopia, which is generally considered to be untreatable in adults.

"Our study suggests that physical activity, which is also beneficial for the general health of the patient, could be used to increase the efficiency of the treatment in adult patients," Lunghi says. "So, if you have a lazy eye, don't be lazy yourself!"

Lunghi and Sale say they now plan to investigate the effects of moderate levels of physical exercise on visual function in amblyopic adult patients and to look deeper into the underlying neural mechanisms.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151207131508.htm

Intensive training affects the sleep, performance and mood of athletes, but more carbs may help

December 11, 2015
Science Daily/Taylor & Francis
Getting enough sleep is an essential part of any athlete’s training program, but a new study reveals intensive bouts of exercise can make it hard to get 40 winks. Suspecting that intense exercise can lead to sleep disturbance, scientists studied the effects of two nine day periods of heavy training on 13 highly trained cyclists. The researchers monitored the athletes’ moods, sleep patterns and performance before, during and after exercise.

S.C. Killer and her colleagues discovered that even as little as nine days of intense training can cause 'significant and progressive decline in sleep quality'. They also noticed that the athletes' moods and capacity for exercise both worsened over the period of observation.

Interestingly, the data collected also indicated that the cyclists spent more time in bed during the intense training -- suggesting that they were indeed tired out. But, the extra time under the covers didn't result in any more actual sleep. "Sleep efficiency was significantly reduced during the intensified training period," the researchers observed, with the number of times the athletes woke throughout the night significantly increased. In addition, the cyclists reported changes in their moods as the study went on, including higher tension, anger, fatigue, confusion, depression and increased feelings and symptoms of stress.

As for the additional carbs, the team concluded that a high carbohydrate regime reduced some, but not all, of the effects of hard training. The moderate-carb athletes recorded more sleep time, but this may demonstrate higher levels of fatigue and a greater need for recovery when following that diet.

This study is a key reminder of the importance of sleep to the recovery and performance for all athletes -- as well as the effect that hard training can have on sleep.

As the authors note: "The cycle of successful training must involve overload to a state of acute fatigue, followed by a period of rest. The results of such training are positive adaptations and improvements in performance. However, if overloaded training is not followed by sufficient rest, overreaching may occur."

This study is also a reminder to all coaches of the need to build ample time for rest, including naps, into their athletes' training plans.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151211131723.htm

Exercise reduces heart disease risk in depressed patients

Further evidence regular physical activity is beneficial

January 11, 2016
Science Daily/American College of Cardiology
Symptoms of mild to minimal depression were associated with early indicators of heart disease, say researchers. However, the study found regular exercise seems to reduce the adverse cardiovascular consequences of depression.

Depression has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and other physical ailments, and depression is commonly associated with worse outcomes for patients with heart disease and other conditions. In addition, as many as 20 percent of people hospitalized with a heart attack report symptoms of depression, while patients with heart disease have three times the risk of developing depression compared to the general population.

Researchers from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta set out to learn more about the relationship between depressive symptoms and heart disease. They studied 965 people who were free of heart disease and who had no prior diagnosis of an affective, psychotic or anxiety disorder. Researchers used questionnaires to evaluate patients for depression and levels of physical activity. They also looked a several early indicators of heart disease.

Researchers found arterial stiffening and inflammation--the early heart disease indicators--that accompany worsening depressive symptoms were more pronounced in people who were inactive. The indicators were less common in subjects engaging in regular physical activity.

"Our findings highlight the link between worsening depression and cardiovascular risk and support routinely assessing depression in patients to determine heart disease risk. This research also demonstrates the positive effects of exercise for all patients, including those with depressive symptoms," said study author Arshed A. Quyyumi, M.D., co-director of the Emory Clinical Cardiovascular Research Institute in Atlanta. "There are many patients with heart disease who also experience depression -- we need to study whether encouraging them to exercise will reduce their risk of adverse outcomes."
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160111152808.htm

Exercise for people with dementia improves balance and reduces dependence

January 20, 2016
Science Daily/Umea University
Regular exercise improves balance for people with dementia and reduces dependence on assistance. This according to new research on healthcare for people suffering from dementia.

In a unique study on people with dementia living in residential care facilities, researchers from Umeå University have found that regular functional exercise, similar to everyday activities and performed at high intensity, can improve balance and reduce dependence on assistance in activities of daily living, such as for instance mobility or toilet visits. Training sessions lasting 45 minutes, two to three times per week, can lead to an improved quality of life for individuals suffering from dementia -- a progressive illness leading to gradual reduction in cognitive and physical function.

In 2012, the number of individuals with dementia in Sweden stretched to 150,000 according to the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen). This is a number expected to reach at least 250,000 in 2050 at the speed of population aging. Having an increased proportion of individuals with dementia in society increases the demand and costs for healthcare. At present, the cost of dementia in Sweden reaches around SEK 60 billion per annum, according to the National Board of Health and Welfare.

"Regular exercise has a positive effect on people with dementia and should, therefore, be included in the care in residential care facilities. Studies such as the present one are rare, but provide important knowledge to further build upon in order to develop care of people with dementia as a cost-effective means of meeting future challenges, and help individuals to maintain independence longer," says Annika Toots, PhD student at the Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation at Umeå University, and first author of the article.

The study, described in the article Effects of a high-intensity functional exercise program on dependence in activities of daily living and balance in older adults with dementia, is a part of the greater Umeå Dementia and Exercise Study (UMDEX), performed involving people with dementia in residential care facilities. As a next step, research groups at the Unit of Physiotherapy and Geriatric medicine will analyse which effect exercise has on for instance ability to walk and cognitive ability in the target group, as well as how participants and physiotherapists experienced the exercise programme.

The published study involved 186 people with dementia in 16 different residential care facilities in the Umeå area. All participants were 65 years of age or above and in need of personal care. The participants were randomly allocated into two groups, where one group undertook a high-intensive, functional exercise programme led by physiotherapists. The programme included various functional exercises that aimed to improve leg strength, balance and walking, which are part of everyday activities. The workout covered 45 minutes, two to three times per week for a duration of four months.

Instead of training, the sedentary control group took part in stimulating activities of group conversations, singing and reading aloud sessions. The purpose of this was to control the positive effects that stimulation through togetherness and attention have. All participants were tested before, as well as four and seven months after the completion of the programme.

Due to the progressive course of dementia, a deterioration was noted in all participants' abilities to independently manage everyday activities. The deterioration occurred at a slower pace in the exercise group and they showed an improved balance. The positive effects of the exercise varied depending on the type of dementia, where the group with vascular dementia experienced better effects of exercising than participants with Alzheimer's disease. To better plan and carry out exercise for people with dementia, it can, therefore, be of importance to identify the type of dementia.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160120115733.htm

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