RCT Does Not Confirm That Moderate Intensity Physical Activity is More Effective than Health Education in Reducing Cognitive Decline in Elderly People – Pity

The attractive theory that exercise, perhaps by inducing body-wide intra-cellular autophagy, promotes the health of all tissues – including the brain – does not gain support from this RCT (total n=1,635).[1] There was almost no difference at all in cognitive decline or incidence in dementia in this 24 month study. Maybe the exercise intensity was insufficient to yield a measurable improvement, in which case the CLAHRC WM Director’s regular Spinning classes may produce some benefit after all. But he is starting to doubt it.

— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director

Reference:

  1. Sink KM, Espeland MA, Castro CM, et al. Effect of a 24-Month Physical Activity Intervention vs Health Education on Cognitive Outcomes in Sedentary Older Adults: The LIFE Randomized Trial. JAMA. 2015;314(8):781-90.
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