Dementia is not a disease its self but an umbrella term for a range of diseases. These conditions are characterised by the impairment of at least 2 brain functions such as memory and visual perception. Dementia may present in a range of ways such as cognitive symptoms such as confusion, forgetfulness and disorientation, psychological symptoms (such as depression, paranoia and hallucinations), mood and behavioural changes and most often presenting muscular changes and unstable walking.
Exercise is currently being researched in many ways for its contribution to reducing dementia risk and for effects on people currently living with dementia. Physical exercise is essential for maintaining adequate blood flow to the brain and may stimulate brain cell growth and survival. Although not completely understood, Alzheimers disease is thought to have the same risk factors as cardiovascular disease which can be managed and prevented by exercise.
Dr. Ronald Petersen, Director of the Alzheimer’s Research Center at the US Mayo Clinic, has stated that ‘regular physical exercise is probably the best means we have of preventing Alzheimer's disease today, better than medications, better than intellectual activity, better than supplements and diet’.
So why see an Exercise Physiologist in regards to dementia? An Exercise Physiologist can prescribe a program that
can slow the progression of the disease
improve mood and manage behaviours associated with dementia
improve muscle wastage that can occur with dementia
allow for social interaction in a mentally stimulating environment
Call up today to book in for your initial assessment!