PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) -Doctors have linked physical activity as a way to prevent early stages of Alzheimer's and Dementia and even part of a treatment plan for those already diagnosed.
"Studies showed improved memory in people with early Alzheimer's disease after participating in a year long,I think three to five times a week, exercise program," said Clinical Neuropyschologist Dr. Kristin Addison-Brown.
Exercise is known to help prevent depression which can be a factor to early Alzheimer's disease.
"Bad mood, low mood depression and anxiety can suppress your memory," said Dr. Addison-Brown.
Physical activity can also help with other health related problems that can eventually lead to vascular dementia caused by poor circulation to the brain.
"Things like type II diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, all those sorts of things contribute to that," said Dr. Addison-Brown.
Things like walking or gardening once a day will help stimulate the brain. If being on your feet is not an option there are other alternatives.
"One thing I hear a lot from people say is they have a back problem or their knees are bad, things that make walking uncomfortable but water aerobics is great because it's low impact," said Dr. Addison-Brown.
Activity Director, Chris DeAngelo with Greene Acres Nursing home said residents want to stay active for a reason.
"The most important reason to stay active is their trying to stay sharp," said DeAngelo.
Whether it's playing toss or taking a walk, DeAngelo said they incorporate different things to keep the brain stimulated.
"A lot of the activities we focus on we have little quizzes during physical activity, reminiscing so that builds their long term and short term memory up," said DeAngelo.