According to a news release from Wiley, exercise may enhance cognitive skills in people with dementia. However, the authors of the review did not find any clear impact of exercise on depression in older people with dementia. Thus, more evidence is required to comprehend how exercise could lower the stress on family members and health systems.
Because people are living longer, rates of dementia are anticipated to increase significantly in the coming years. Dementia impacts the brain in various ways and is linked with effects on memory and personality. It is believed that exercise might be helpful in treating dementia or impeding its advancement, through enhancements in the capability to complete everyday activities and positive impacts on mental processes like memory and attention.
The study updates a Cochrane review conducted in 2008, when only four trials on the impacts of exercise in older people with dementia were available to reviewers. In the update review, information from eight trials involving 329 participants revealed that exercise could enhance cognitive functioning. Information from six studies involving 289 participants revealed that exercise could enhance the capability of older people with dementia to complete daily tasks, like walking.
The reviewers note that there were considerable variations among the findings of individual trials. Also, they did not discover enough proof to decide whether exercise bettered difficult behaviors or depression in older people with dementia. However, the reviewers believe that if more evidence is discovered in the future, it may help determine whether exercise can help individuals with dementia stay at home for longer.
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source: The study’s findings are described in greater detail in The Cochrane Library