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Weaker Link Than Expected Between Exercise and Less Cognitive Decline

1/14/24 Previous research has tied increased physical activity with a lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia. But a February 1, 2024, review involving 104 studies that included more than 341 000 participants suggested the association might be smaller than expected. The researchers did note in JAMA Network Open that even though the association was weak, it was still “significant in a population health perspective for the potential to postpone the multifactorial diseases causing dementia.”

The researchers found that physical activity was linked with a 3% lower risk of having cognitive impairment or decline but the relationship between amounts and types of exercise wasn’t clearcut. The association disappeared in studies that followed up people for more than 10 years. It also wasn’t affected by other factors like age and baseline cognition, researchers reported.

You can read the February 1, 2024, Physical Activity and Cognitive Decline Among Older Adults - A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis HERE.

Article Information

Emily Harris

JAMA. Published online February 14, 2024. doi:10.1001/jama.2024.0354



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