Exercise and Mobility in the Elderly

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Exercise is not just for the young. A study of a group of seniors found that daily activity may help ward off the brain damage as a person ages. Dr. Edward Hill takes a look at the studys conclusions in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Staying physically active as you age may ward off brain damage that can limit mobility.

Researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago concluded that preserving motor function is just as important as preserving mental function to maintain independence and quality of life in older age.

For the study, 167 elderly participants wore movement monitors on their wrists for up to 11 days. These devices measured exercise and non-exercise activity. Participants also took 11 tests of movement ability, and researchers used MRI scans to assess the level of white matter hyperintensities in the brain.

The researchers found that those seniors who exercised the most, even if they had high levels of brain damage, maintained their scores on the movement tests. However, for those who exercised less, brain damage was associated with lower scores on the movement tests.

Researchers concluded that older people should do some kind of safe and enjoyable movement daily to protect motor function from brain injury that may occur as you get older.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.