A Canadian study has found results that suggest that inactivity can make you as likely to develop dementia as those with a genetic predisposition. The study spanned five years and followed 1,600 individuals over the age of 65, and concluded that the individuals who led a sedentary lifestyle were at as much risk of developing dementia as the individuals who carry the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene mutation, a mutation which makes carriers as much as four times more likely to develop dementia. Those who reported walking three times a week seemed to have a lower risk of developing dementia. While the study didn’t prove that a sedentary lifestyle was the cause of dementia, it does suggest a link between physical activity and dementia. An earlier study suggested that APOE carriers could reduce their risk by running regularly.
- 1Conversely, people who exercised appeared to have lower odds of developing dementia than those who didn’t, the five-year study found.
- 2However, this new study suggests that if you are blessed with genes that lower your risk for Alzheimer’s, you could lose that benefit if you don’t exercise, he said.
- 3About 47.5 million people around the world are living with dementia, the researchers said, and that number is expected to surge to 115 million by 2050.
About 47.5 million people around the world are living with dementia, the researchers said, and that number is expected to surge to 115 million by 2050.
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