Monday, November 9, 2009

More Strength Means Lower Alzheimer's Risk

Greater muscle strength has been linked to a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment.

Older people with stronger muscles are at reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to their weaker peers, a new study shows.

Dr. Patricia A. Boyle of Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center in Chicago and her colleagues found that the greater a person's muscle strength, the lower their likelihood of being diagnosed with Alzheimer's over a four-year period. The same was true for the loss of mental function that often precedes full-blown Alzheimer's.

Studies have linked grip strength to Alzheimer's, while a person's weight and level of physical activity also influence risk of the disease. To date, however, no one has studied whether muscle strength in and of itself might play a role in dementia risk, Boyle and her team note in November's Annals of Neurology. Read more

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