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An Active Life Can Prevent Alzheimer's

Keeping active -- physically or mentally --outside of work in the mid-life years may help prevent Alzheimer's disease, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 52nd Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif., this spring.

Researchers found that people with higher levels of non-occupational activities, such as playing a musical instrument, gardening, physical exercise or even playing board games, were less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease later in life.

"People who were less active were more than three times more likely to have Alzheimer's disease as compared to those who were more active," said Robert Friedland, M.D., a neurologist at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland, and primary author of the study.

This is the first study of its kind to examine levels of activity from at least five years before Alzheimer's symptoms appeared. The researchers used a questionnaire to collect data about participation in 26 activities -- passive as well as intellectual and physical.

The subjects were 193 people with Alzheimer's disease, with a mean age of 73, and 358 healthy people, with a mean age of 71.

Among the activities categorized as passive were watching television, social activities and attending church. Intellectual activities ranged from reading and painting to jigsaw puzzles, woodworking and knitting, whereas physical activity ran the gamut from gardening to racquet sports.

The healthy participants had been more active between the ages of 40 and 60 than had the patients with Alzheimer's, even after the data was adjusted to take into account differences, such as age, income, gender and education

The study's findings also suggest that it is never too late to get started -- at least as far as intellectual activities are concerned.

" A relative increase in the amount of time devoted to intellectual activities from early adulthood (ages 20 to 39) to mid-adulthood (ages 40 to 60) was associated with a significant decrease in the probability of having Alzheimer's disease later in life," said Friedland.

This study builds on previous work showing that people with Alzheimer's had been less physically active and had lower levels of educational and occupational achievement than people without the disease. This latest research, however, suggests that it doesn't take a doctorate to ward off Alzheimer's -- an intellectually or physically stimulating hobby will also be helpful

Passive activities, such as watching television, however, do not lower the risk for Alzheimer's disease.

" We believe public health measures should be instituted to enhance adult participation in physical and mental activities, and decrease participation in activities that involve little physical or intellectual stimulation, such as television," said Friedland.

The research suggests that the brain stimulation associated with intellectual and physical activities works against the neurodegeneration of diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Although scientists cannot rule out the possibility that lower activity levels are themselves symptoms of the disease in its very early stages, Friedland believes that to be unlikely, because the study looked at levels of activity from at least five years before the onset of dementia.

SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, May 5, 2000

Our chiropractic office educates our patients in lifestyle changes that compliment their spinal care. Chiropractic spinal adjustments strengthen areas of the spine and restore impaired nerve flow. Subluxations occur when vertebra misalign irritating delicate spinal nerves. Spinal adjustments remove the nerve pressure and restore function to the body. Chiropractic spinal adjustments by our chiropractors help you live your life to its fullest through a properly functioning nervous system. When your nervous system is functioning properly you express life to your fullest. Chiropractic spinal adjustments enable you to express your God given health potential and to live your life to fullest capabilities. Neck pain, back pain, sciatica, reduced immunity, ear infections, decreased energy, stomach disorders, asthma, allergies, sinus problems, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder problems, sports injuries, spinal disc degeneration, osteoarthritis, numbness, pain, are just some of the signs of improper function in the body and conditions that benefit from Chiropractic spinal adjustments. Don't delay and wait for a spinal problem to develop before you seek out Chiropractic care. Get a Chiropractic spinal adjustment and deal with the cause of your problems rather than masking it with medications which often deal just with the symptoms. Whether you are feel great and want to ensure a healthy and fully functional future or if you are in pain and seek the safe and effective proven results of Chiropractic spinal adjustments, you owe it to yourself to have a spinal check up and to start down the healthy road of lifetime Chiropractic care.