Aerobic Exercise May Be Key to Better Neurocognition (Psychology Today):
“Duke University researchers recently reported that just six months of aerobic exercise—for 35 minutes, three times a week—may improve executive function in older adults who have cognitive impairments. Before they began doing aerobic exercise, the previously sedentary study participants had difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and remembering…
At the beginning of this study, participants were randomly divided into four groups: (1) aerobic exercise alone, (2) DASH diet alone, (3) both aerobic exercise and DASH diet, and (4) health education information via the telephone.
After analyzing the results from the four different groups, the researchers found that participants who exercised regularly showed significant improvements in their thinking skills compared to those who did not exercise.”
Lifestyle and neurocognition in older adults with cognitive impairments: A randomized trial (Neurology). From the abstract:
Objective: To determine the independent and additive effects of aerobic exercise (AE) and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet on executive functioning in adults with cognitive impairments with no dementia (CIND) and risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Methods: A 2‑by‑2 factorial (exercise/no exercise and DASH diet/no DASH diet) randomized clinical trial was conducted in 160 sedentary men and women (age >55 years) with CIND and CVD risk factors. Participants were randomly assigned to 6 months of AE, DASH diet nutritional counseling, a combination of both AE and DASH, or health education (HE). The primary endpoint was a prespecified composite measure of executive function; secondary outcomes included measures of language/verbal fluency, memory, and ratings on the modified Clinical Dementia Rating Scale.
Conclusions: These preliminary findings show that AE promotes improved executive functioning in adults at risk for cognitive decline.