Smorgasbord Health – Let’s Walk a Marathon.. Walking offers hope in fight against Alzheimer’s Disease

Part of my job as a nutritional counsellor is to keep up to date with the latest research in a number of areas including how exercise impacts the body. It has long established that regular exercise is healthy for the brain and this study supports that.

Could the initiation of a simple walking exercise program help older adults to reverse declines in key brain regions? A new study led by University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers adds more information about how physical activity impacts brain physiology and offers hope that it may be possible to reestablish some protective neuronal connections. Dr. J. Carson Smith, associate professor of kinesiology, and colleagues explored how a 12-week walking intervention with older adults, ages 60-88, affected functionality of a brain region known to show declines in people suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer’s disease.

An extract from the article.

Dr. Smith’s research team recruited two groups — one with 16 healthy elders and another with 16 elders diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment to participate in an exercise intervention that included walking for 30 minutes, four times a week (at 50-60 % of heart rate reserve) for three months.

Before and after the exercise intervention, participants in both groups underwent fMRI brain scans to assess functional connectivity between multiple brain regions and the PCC/precuneus. After completing the intervention, both groups showed improved ability to remember a list of words; however only the MCI group showed increased connectivity to the PCC/precuneus hub, which was evident in 10 regions spanning the frontal, parietal, temporal and insular lobes, and the cerebellum.

“These findings suggest that the protective effects of exercise training on cognition may be realized by the brain re-establishing communication and connections among the brain’s so-called default mode network, which may possibly increase the capacity to compensate for the neural pathology associated with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Smith.

Source of the article:  University of Maryland. “Exercise study offers hope in fight against Alzheimer’s: Walking intervention improved neural connectivity in older adults with MCI.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2017.

You will find all the other posts on the Marathon challenge in this directory covering preparation, breathing exercises and foods to support you:.

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About Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. My previous jobs are only relevant in as much as they have gifted me with a wonderful filing cabinet of memories and experiences which are very useful when putting pen to paper. I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. You can find the whole story here. Find out more at

18 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Health – Let’s Walk a Marathon.. Walking offers hope in fight against Alzheimer’s Disease

    • I think that is the only way to approach it Brigid.. I have worked with too many people who feel that the pill the doctor gave them for their blood pressure allows them to continue with their previous lifestyle without making any changes. As you know from your own practice it only works when body, mind and lifestyle are in harmony. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The more I hear about the problems in old age the more motivated I become to walk and exercise to keep them at bay. Thanks for all the info, Sally! You are the best at what you do to help others stay motivated to be healthy! ❤️😘🤗xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Exercise gives all our organs a longer life and signs of increased brain connectivity are great. I’d like to have seen the hippocampus in that list of brain regions to feel the likelihood of any specific influence on Alzheimer’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up… Music, Poetry, Book Promotions, Health and Humour | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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