Studies on the effectiveness of physical exercise to treat and/or prevent mental disorders are essential and particularly appropriate, given the rapid growth of the elderly population and the consequent increase in the prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases. The onset of neurodegenerative diseases is subtle, and progression is irreversible, as there is still no cure capable of stopping them permanently. Therefore, we should not underestimate these diseases and should immediately begin to combine the treatment with physical activity adapted to specific needs. Indeed, it is well known that physical activity has positive effects on mobility, autonomy, and functional capacity, improving not only cognitive functions, but also reducing the risk of developing dementia. Despite several studies in this field, to date there are no specific and effective protocols that promote physical exercise in people with dementia. Based on this evidence, the aim of the present work was to verify whether an adapted physical exercise regimen could promote the maintenance of psychomotor functions in elderly subjects and, therefore, delay the irreversible effects of combinations of dementia and other pathologies associated with aging. Our results clearly show that exercise is very effective in improving psychomotor functions and delaying the progress of neurodegenerative diseases in humans, since we observed that the subjects maintained their cognitive skills after 8 months of physical activity, moreover, two patients presented an amelioration. Based on the results obtained, we recommend that the motor practice, in any chosen form, be considered an integral part of prevention programs based on an active lifestyle in older people. Future studies will be necessary to establish how long lasting the benefits of a specific physical activity are and whether they are enough to delay cognitive decline.

Beneficial effects of physical activity on subjects with neurodegenerative disease

Padua E.;D'Amico A. G.;Maugeri G.;D'Agata V.;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Studies on the effectiveness of physical exercise to treat and/or prevent mental disorders are essential and particularly appropriate, given the rapid growth of the elderly population and the consequent increase in the prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases. The onset of neurodegenerative diseases is subtle, and progression is irreversible, as there is still no cure capable of stopping them permanently. Therefore, we should not underestimate these diseases and should immediately begin to combine the treatment with physical activity adapted to specific needs. Indeed, it is well known that physical activity has positive effects on mobility, autonomy, and functional capacity, improving not only cognitive functions, but also reducing the risk of developing dementia. Despite several studies in this field, to date there are no specific and effective protocols that promote physical exercise in people with dementia. Based on this evidence, the aim of the present work was to verify whether an adapted physical exercise regimen could promote the maintenance of psychomotor functions in elderly subjects and, therefore, delay the irreversible effects of combinations of dementia and other pathologies associated with aging. Our results clearly show that exercise is very effective in improving psychomotor functions and delaying the progress of neurodegenerative diseases in humans, since we observed that the subjects maintained their cognitive skills after 8 months of physical activity, moreover, two patients presented an amelioration. Based on the results obtained, we recommend that the motor practice, in any chosen form, be considered an integral part of prevention programs based on an active lifestyle in older people. Future studies will be necessary to establish how long lasting the benefits of a specific physical activity are and whether they are enough to delay cognitive decline.
Dementia
Neurodegenerative process
Physical activity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/523925
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