Exercise can slow memory loss in progress

September 3, 2008 2:10:00 PM PDT
There are numerous studies showing physically active people are less likely to develop dementia in old age. Now a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds exercise can even slow down memory loss in those that are already having difficulty.

Doctors followed 170 seniors with mild memory problems. Half were encouraged to exercise a couple hours per week while the other half kept to their normal activities.

Most of the participants in the exercise program chose walking, and after six months they had improved recall and better scores on an Alzheimer's test.

While the memory benefits were modest, researchers say they are comparable to those seen with Alzheimer's drugs.