Exercise to prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Posted on April 17, 2013

To better understand how physical activity can contribute to the prevention and management of Alzheimer’s disease, the Ontario Brain Institute conducted a literature review of recent research.

In older adults without Alzheimer’s disease, those who were very physically active were almost 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as those who were inactive.

At the population level, it was observed that more than 1 in 7 cases of Alzheimer’s disease could be prevented if everyone who is currently inactive were to become physically active at a level consistent with current activity recommendations. On this basis, potential cost-savings (~$88 to $970 million CDN per year) in healthcare for community-dwelling older adults with Alzheimer’s disease are substantial.

For an overview of the findings, see Walking Away from Dementia (March 11, 2013).

For the full literature review, see "The Role of Physical Activity in the Prevention and Management of Alzheimer’s Disease—Implications for Ontario" (February 2013). View a webinar presentation by the authors of the report.