Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Stronger Muscles Decrease Alzheimer's Risk in Elderly

(Reuters Health Summary)

Elderly individuals with stronger muscles are at a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared with their weaker counterparts, a new study has found.

In the study, the researchers have found that, over a four year period, the stronger an individuals muscles were, the less likely they were to develop Alzheimer's disease in addition to the decline in mental capacity that precedes the disease.

A group of 970 dementia-free elderly adults with an average age of 80 years old had 9 muscle groups in their arms and legs tested for strength, in addition to testing their breathing muscles. During the follow-up, 130 individuals had developed the disease - those individuals were weaker from the get-go. People who ranked in the top 10 percent for muscle strength were 61 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's than the weakest 10 percent. Stronger people also showed a slower decline in their mental abilities over time.

Find out more about the strength-Alzheimer's relationship in the article "More muscle power means lower Alzheimer's risk" from Reuters Health (Nov. 9, 2009).