To Fight Mild Cognitive Impairment, Flex Those Muscles

Strength training has been shown to be beneficial for people with mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.

AsianScientist (Nov. 7, 2016) – Research from Australia has showed that increased muscle strength leads to improved brain function in adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The work was published in the Journal of American Geriatrics.

MCI refers to people who have noticeably reduced cognitive abilities such as reduced memory but are still able to live independently, and is a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. With 135 million people forecasted to suffer from dementia in 2050, the study results have implications for the type and intensity of exercise that is recommended for aging populations.

Findings from the Study of Mental and Resistance Training (SMART) trial show, for the first time, a positive causal link between muscle adaptations to progressive resistance training and the functioning of the brain among those over 55 with MCI. SMART was a randomized, double-blind trial involving 100 community-dwelling adults with MCI, aged between 55 and 86.

“What we found in this follow up study is that the improvement in cognition function was related to their muscle strength gains,” said lead author Dr. Yorgi Mavros from the University of Sydney. “The stronger people became, the greater the benefit for their brain.”

The article can be found at: Mavros et al. (2016) Mediation of Cognitive Function Improvements by Strength Gains After Resistance Training in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment: Outcomes of the Study of Mental and Resistance Training.


Source: University of Sydney; Photo: Pixabay.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning science and technology magazine that highlights R&D news stories from Asia to a global audience. The magazine is published by Singapore-headquartered Wildtype Media Group.

Related Stories from Asian Scientist