Dementia is the most common degenerative nerve ailment. Research done by Delphi Consensus group recognized that around 24.3 million case histories are reported as a whole and the amount of new cases are increasing at an alarming rate. Dementia affects the cognitive function of human brain ultimately restricting the functional independence of the individual in his daily chores. Anti dementia drugs have found very little success. Homeopathic medicines’ including passiflora helps to decrease the rate of cognitive decline but ultimately the degenerative change takes a toll on the brain.
The effects of exercise on human cardiovascular and muscular system are almost given wide and hard endorsement by the health professional to the common man., but can physical exercise done in a structured and scientific manner decrease the incidence of dementia in humans?. The jack of all researches, gold standard Cochrane review has found noteworthy points on this aspect, Cochrane research while summarizing findings of the major researches summarized that proper nutrition and exercise has a preventive and therapeutic effect on development and progression of dementia
Influence of exercise on three major diseases commonly discussed are worth noting, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Major depression. Regular exercise has its own mode to combat the progression of all the three diseases giving hope to millions of people in the world suffering due to these pathologies. Let’s check what research has to say .
Exercise and Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is commonly noticed mode of dementia in world population. Alzheimer’s disease mainly results in decrease in size of a specialized area of the brain called as Hippocampus. It is commonly related with the formation of particles called as neurofibrillary tangle. The tangle forms a cluttered mesh like set of connections in the brain which prevents further scope of fresh nutrition or growth of the hippocampus region. Exercise decreases the formation of β-amyloid deposits which is an essential component for the formation of the neurofibrillary tangle, exercise also enhances the neural defense mechanism against inflammation in the brain.
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Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease
After Alzheimer’s next in the list is Parkinson’s disease. Even though it affects most genders male population is particularly at risk.Neuron of the sustanitia nigra , (a portion of brain )called dopaminergic neurons decline in number.There is decreased mitochondrial activity which ultimately affects brain function as mitochondria are the energy store house of the cell. The common features seen in the patients are decreased movement, tremor and difficulty in walking. Positive effects of exercise in Alzheimer’s disease include increased gait control, enhanced oxidative power of mitochondria and enhanced dopamine activity helping in reducing damage to the sustantia nigra.
Exercise and Depression
Depression results in loss of self esteem decreased enthusiasm and reduced interest in enjoyable activities. Excessive depressive traits may often result in suicidal tendencies. Research data in this view is varied with regard to the effect of exercise. Nevertheless the positive points are worth en cashing. A structured exercise program with moderate intensity has been found to enhance the mood and wellness among people with depression.
Common Effects of Exercise in Dementia
In a nut shell physical exercise exerts the nervous system which in turn results in the production of protective hormones and nerve growth factors which can delay the advance of neurodegenerative diseases and dementia.