Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Alzheimer's Disease Health Center

Font Size

1st Signs of Dementia May Be Physical

Mental Declines Come Later, Study Suggests

Can Exercise Delay Alzheimer’s? continued...

Anderson is program director for studies into the epidemiology of dementiadementia with the Dementias of Aging branch of the NIA.

It has been suggested that regular exercise protects against mental decline by improving blood flow to the brain.

That may be true, Anderson tells WebMD. But it may also be true that older people tend to become less physically active with advancing mental decline. So instead of regular exercise being protective against dementia, it may just be a sign that mental function has not been impaired.

“In a sense the dementia process could be causing people to exercise less,” Anderson says.

He also points out that older people who exercise regularly may have other habits that could help reduce their Alzheimer’s risk.

“They are probably more disciplined,” he says. “They may eat a better diet or be more socially engaged. They may be doing any number of things that seem to be positive.”

1|2

Today on WebMD

alzheimer's disease warning signs
ARTICLE
Alzheimers Overview
SLIDESHOW
 
Best Memory Boosting Games
ARTICLE
mri scan of human brain
QUIZ
 
senior man
ARTICLE
daughter and father
ARTICLE
 
Making Diagnosis
Article
Colored mri of brain
ARTICLE
 
Close up of elderly couple holding hands
VIDEO
senior woman with lost expression
ARTICLE
 
Woman comforting ailing mother
ARTICLE
Alzheimers Dementia
ARTICLE