Strength training can help protect the brain from degeneration
For the first time, an intervention – lifting weights – has been able to slow and even halt degeneration, over a long period, in brain areas particularly vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease. “Our research shows that strength training can protect some hippocampal subregions from degeneration or shrinkage for up to 12-months after the training has stopped,” Dr Broadhouse said.
For a diagnosis of dementia, four main conditions need to be satisfied:
- impairment on multiple cognitive domains
- a definite decline in cognitive function
- exclusion of any possible medical causes for this decline, and
- the person is no longer able to carry out day-to-day tasks.
In practice, the last criterion – being able to do one’s daily activities independently – is pivotal to distinguishing between cognitive impairment and dementia.