Currently, more than six million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, which is projected to reach 13 million by 2050. And, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, the COVID-19 pandemic increased Alzheimer’s and dementia deaths by 16%. Hopeful new research shows that increasing physical fitness levels by even slight amounts can greatly reduce a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Higher Physical Fitness Substantially Reduces Alzheimer’s Risk
A nine-year study conducted by the American Academy of Neurology found that the higher a person’s physical fitness, the less likely they are to develop Alzheimer’s disease. The study followed upwards of 650,000 U.S. veterans and discovered that the fittest group was 33% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than the least fit group of participants. "The idea that you can reduce your risk for Alzheimer's disease by simply increasing your activity is very promising, especially since there are no adequate treatments to prevent or stop the progression of the disease,” said study author Edward Zamrini, M.D., of the Washington VA Medical Center and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. According to ScienceDaily, the study’s findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 74th Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA, April 2-7, and virtually, April 24-26.