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TomF
04-25-2012, 10:21 AM
Researchers (http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2012/04/24/dementia-seniors-weight-training.html) at the University of British Columbia have found that weight training is effective in preventing and even reversing mild dementia symptoms in seniors. The study targeted women aged 70-80, and found that resistance training was more effective either than aerobic exercise, or than balance/toning classes.
After six months, compared to those in the balance and tone classes, the strength-training group showed "significant" cognitive improvement, the researchers said in this week's issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Those in the strength-training group also showed changes in activity in specific parts of the brain's cortex that are associated with cognitive behaviour. Some have criticized the study because the exercises weren't tough enough - e.g. the little old ladies weren't asked to do full range-of-motion squats. Real free-weights rather than messing about with exercize bands for some motions. Etc.

Harrumph - while I agree that'd be better eventually, what's clear is that what they did ... worked. And worked better than either of the control groups - doing structured aerobic aerobic exercise, or balance/toning. That is, not only did the "control" groups control for simply having a 2X/week intervention where people were engaged and involved doing something (which also helps seniors with early dementia), but the specific activity worked better.

Bottom line - this stuff works, even in small doses. Bear it in mind, if you intend to get old.

pefjr
04-25-2012, 10:48 AM
Researchers (http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2012/04/24/dementia-seniors-weight-training.html) at the University of British Columbia have found that weight training is effective in preventing and even reversing mild dementia symptoms in seniors. The study targeted women aged 70-80, and found that resistance training was more effective either than aerobic exercise, or than balance/toning classes. Some have criticized the study because the exercises weren't tough enough - e.g. the little old ladies weren't asked to do full range-of-motion squats. Real free-weights rather than messing about with exercize bands for some motions. Etc.

Harrumph - while I agree that'd be better eventually, what's clear is that what they did ... worked. And worked better than either of the control groups - doing structured aerobic aerobic exercise, or balance/toning. That is, not only did the "control" groups control for simply having a 2X/week intervention where people were engaged and involved doing something (which also helps seniors with early dementia), but the specific activity worked better.

Bottom line - this stuff works, even in small doses. Bear it in mind, if you intend to get old.

I don't think it's better than aerobic exercise. The first study did not indicate it better, and some doubts were expressed about the second study. Aerobic exercise is also more social, so gets more interested participants. Weight training may be close to being an aerobic exercise? But...... anything will work better TV or knitting. They say swimming is the best, but it's awful boring. Now, if I was spearfishing, I could snorkel all day long. Learned any new tunes lately? Do you use Spotify?

Cuyahoga Chuck
04-25-2012, 11:16 AM
Did they say why they chose strength training over endurance training? A huge percentage of us will die from bad tickers but there hasn't been any evidence of anyone ever dieing from a case of small bicepts. And why pumping iron would be better for our brains than a ten mile run along a wooded path eludes me.

B_B
04-25-2012, 11:30 AM
Did they say why they chose strength training over endurance training? A huge percentage of us will die from bad tickers but there hasn't been any evidence of anyone ever dieing from a case of small bicepts. And why pumping iron would be better for our brains than a ten mile run along a wooded path eludes me.
Study was 'bout dementia - there are tons of studies regarding wonky tickers. So eat a healthy diet and bring your heart rate up for a few minutes every day to make your ticker happier and lift weights, interact with people, and do some brain exercises (crossword puzzles) to keep your mind working well.

TomF
04-25-2012, 11:46 AM
I think they simply wanted to explore the impacts, separately, of what are often considered 3 elements of overall physical fitness: strength, aerobic capacity, and stretching (the balance/toning bit). There's been a bunch of research already respecting the possible aerobic benefits - with speculation that anything which increases circulation and oxygenation will quite possibly benefit the brain as well as the rest of your body. There's been comparatively little focus on the other elements of fitness though.

Were I them, I'd be surprised at what the results showed. I'd have anticipated that while there might be a bump from each of the sets of activity - some attributable simply to having people start up any activity, which adds mental stimulation and social engagemenet. And I'd have anticipated that increased aerobic capacity could help cognition - on the circulatory/oxygenation rationale. But there doesn't seem to be an obvious mechanism through which strength training would benefit cognition. Retained mobility, sure, but the brain stuff - as demonstrated both by symptom assessment and MRI-observable changes in the executive-function and cognition areas of the brain was surprising.

I don't think anyone would say don't do aerobic stuff too ...

George Jung
04-25-2012, 11:47 AM
A study a few years ago looked at strength training in a NH group either bedfast or using canes/walkers. In six weeks, all had shown significant improvement, ambulating without assistance or device. If you consider this, it takes a certain amount of strength simply to ambulate - drop below that, and you get falls. Simple, but most NH's aren't 'interested' (ie, they're not getting paid) to have someone designated for weight training.

TomF
04-25-2012, 11:52 AM
... Learned any new tunes lately? Do you use Spotify?Been going through a book of standards and transcribed solos by luminaries like Brubeck, Art Tatum etc., trying to get familiar with some other people's arrangements. Tunes like "Have you met Miss Jones," God Bless the Child," Stella by Starlight." I was playing "Skylark" the other day, 'cause a friend's daughter is singing it in the Music Festival soon ... and ran across Aretha Franklin's version of it up on YouTube. I never knew she'd recorded it - but holy cripes! Great stuff.

B_B
04-25-2012, 11:55 AM
A study a few years ago looked at strength training in a NH group either bedfast or using canes/walkers. In six weeks, all had shown significant improvement, ambulating without assistance or device. If you consider this, it takes a certain amount of strength simply to ambulate - drop below that, and you get falls. Simple, but most NH's aren't 'interested' (ie, they're not getting paid) to have someone designated for weight training.
What's an NH?

George Jung
04-25-2012, 11:57 AM
sorry - nursing home.

George Jung
04-25-2012, 11:59 AM
Tom - great recommendation! Ah, Aretha...

TomF
04-25-2012, 11:59 AM
A study a few years ago looked at strength training in a NH group either bedfast or using canes/walkers. In six weeks, all had shown significant improvement, ambulating without assistance or device. If you consider this, it takes a certain amount of strength simply to ambulate - drop below that, and you get falls. Simple, but most NH's aren't 'interested' (ie, they're not getting paid) to have someone designated for weight training.I'm involved in a policy initiative here trying to fund a number of ways to support people's aging in their homes, to prevent placement in nursing homes and/or hospitals. It's been known for decades that seniors who wait in hospitals until a NH bed is available ... decline while they're waiting, and on discharge need more intensive care than their assessment at intake would have led you to believe. Both because of the lack of stimulation, and the fact that in a hospital bed, everybody waits on you.

The converse is that if a person does return home and begin looking after themselves again ... even if they need some in-home supports to do so ... that the need for those supports typically drops quite markedly after a few weeks. The capacity to be ambulatory is key - lower body strength training so a person can get up out of a chair, off a toilet etc. is enormously preventive.

B_B
04-25-2012, 12:00 PM
sorry - nursing home.
I read New Hampshire and that made perfect sense until the last sentence...

pefjr
04-25-2012, 12:31 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTgkAzbXQqU&feature=related One of my favorite Arethas. Spotify has all her hits, free.

htom
04-25-2012, 12:31 PM
Resistance training typically has a left-right differentiation (either one side of the body or the other is working "harder", even if they're supposed to be the same; part of the exercise is creating that balance.) So it probably kicks in the same brain changes that taijiquan and yoga do.

Cardio, flexibility, strength. Do all of them.

TomF
04-25-2012, 12:47 PM
Spotify has all her hits, free.I usually listen to one of CBC's jazz streams at work - haven't met up with Spotify. I'll play around with it at home ...

pefjr
04-25-2012, 12:53 PM
A couple more moving creations for your musical enjoyment. Tom and Dr J

Two versions of Mary, Don't you Weep. These two will get your blood flowing, don't need no stinking exercise. I'm working on my Mandolin version.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=xIX6btGIn8w#t=46 s

pefjr
04-25-2012, 12:53 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GJkQvyoWJBk#t=24 1s

TomF
04-25-2012, 12:59 PM
Hmmm. Looks like I've got some work to do too. :D Thanks!

Cuyahoga Chuck
04-25-2012, 01:05 PM
A study a few years ago looked at strength training in a NH group either bedfast or using canes/walkers. In six weeks, all had shown significant improvement, ambulating without assistance or device. If you consider this, it takes a certain amount of strength simply to ambulate - drop below that, and you get falls. Simple, but most NH's aren't 'interested' (ie, they're not getting paid) to have someone designated for weight training.

That has a more obvious reletionship than relating muscle execise to the betterment of a brain disorder.

TomF
04-25-2012, 01:15 PM
That has a more obvious reletionship than relating muscle execise to the betterment of a brain disorder.I agree. Which is why the apparent relationship was striking - it was unexpected.

George Jung
04-25-2012, 02:00 PM
I'd agree, on both points. But to me, the glaring question is - if a simple six week strengthening course has such a demonstrably positive effect, why hasn't 'a way' been found to implement this as 'standard of care' in all nursing home setups? Finding the unexpected - that's great. Ignoring the obvious - that's pathetic.

TomF
04-25-2012, 02:51 PM
I'd agree, on both points. But to me, the glaring question is - if a simple six week strengthening course has such a demonstrably positive effect, why hasn't 'a way' been found to implement this as 'standard of care' in all nursing home setups? Finding the unexpected - that's great. Ignoring the obvious - that's pathetic.Well ... that's gonna be one of my recommendations in this initiative I was describing, trying to keep seniors capable of staying in their own homes.

George Jung
04-25-2012, 02:56 PM
that's a bit different than what I'm talking about (strengthening program in a controlled environment), but laudable.

Let us know how this develops for you.

David W Pratt
04-25-2012, 03:01 PM
Hawthorne effect?

TomF
04-25-2012, 03:04 PM
Maybe. But all 3 groups knew they were being studied, so it should have affected them equally. It doesn't explain the divergence. Nor, I'd think, the differences in MRI results showing more activity in a part of the brain.

Orange
04-25-2012, 03:23 PM
Interesting and good to read. I'll have to keep encouraging my parents to continue lifting. I've read that dementia and Alzheimer's disease might be a type of diabetes. Some even call the conditions type 3 diabetes.

Recall this study article from Dr. Briffa's sight about weight lifting helping with blood sugar control.

"Resistance training benefits diabetics (and others too)"

http://www.drbriffa.com/2010/11/19/resistance-training-benefits-diabetics-and-others-too/

PeterSibley
04-25-2012, 04:35 PM
Did they say why they chose strength training over endurance training? A huge percentage of us will die from bad tickers but there hasn't been any evidence of anyone ever dieing from a case of small bicepts. And why pumping iron would be better for our brains than a ten mile run along a wooded path eludes me.

Actually lack of strength can be deadly, some old people get so weak they can't get out of a chair, get up if they fall over or stop themselves if they begin to fall. Strength can be a life saver as can be good balance .

George Jung
04-25-2012, 04:37 PM
Interesting link, esp. the 'comments'. Off target, unfortunately, but always interesting to see what folks believe. AFA dementia/Alzheimers being a 'type of diabetes', I didn't see any reference in your link. What association are you referring to? Any science links? I've seen (too) many patients with dementia - and most had normal blood sugars, so I'm unsure what you're referring to. Thanks.

PeterSibley
04-25-2012, 04:52 PM
Here's a link from the Australian ABC Health Report, interesting stuff that supports Tom's proposal plus more benefits.
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/strength-training-and-depression-in-the-elderly/3425786

Transcript Hide (http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/strength-training-and-depression-in-the-elderly/3425786#) Norman Swan: Welcome to the program.
Today on The Health Report, fascinating new research into what's really going on in the brains of people with dyslexia;
And, pumping iron as a treatment for depression.
Maria Fiatarone Singh is Professor of Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Sydney. She's worked with older people for many years, both here and in Boston, and taken a special interest in the wide benefits that weight training can offer. Her latest study is a randomised trial using what's called high intensity, progressive resistance training (PRT) in older people with depression. Note the word 'progressive' because it's the key to success.
Maria Fiatarone Singh: What that means is weight lifting exercise, using weights that are relatively heavy for the person, so they're set at approximately 80% of what the person can lift when they're trying as hard as they can.
Norman Swan: So it's not namby-pamby little things, it's really pushing the person to their limit in a sense?
Maria Fiatarone Singh: Well it depends how frail they are. For somebody who's quite old and quite frail, the actual weight itself may not be a lot, but for them it is a lot. But to do it, we usually use machines, although it can be done with free weights, and we certainly can go up to quite high amounts with people as they progress.
Norman Swan: We'll come back to that in a minute; tell me about the people in this study, what was wrong with them, how bad was their depression and so on?
Maria Fiatarone Singh: Well these are people that we recruited from the community who were clinically depressed, meaning they fulfilled all of the criteria that psychiatrists use to diagnose a significant depression; the kind of people that would be ordinarily put on psychiatric medication to treat their depression. Because they were older they also had a variety of other medical conditions.
Norman Swan: How old were they on average?
Maria Fiatarone Singh: They were about 65 to 75 on average.
Norman Swan: So you put them into this randomised trial. It's pretty hard to have a placebo for weight training; what did the control group get?
Maria Fiatarone Singh: We had three different groups. One group was randomised to general practitioner care, so we basically wrote a letter to their physician, told them that we had diagnosed the person as having depression, but didn't tell the physician what to do about it. And we found that about a third of them were treated for depression, the rest the GPs actually chose not to treat medically. Then we had two different exercise groups, and the participants didn't know which one was the preferred treatment because they were done identically. They were both sitting on exercise machines in the same room with the same trainer, one of them was lifting heavy weights which were progressed constantly throughout the trial, and the other group was lifting lightweights which were set at 20% of their strength, which feels relatively light, and that weight was not progressed over the course of the trial. But in all other ways the exercise looked identical, and in fact the participants did not know at the end of the trial whether they were in the preferred group or not when we asked them.

more on the link.

B_B
04-26-2012, 01:37 PM
Lack of zinc causes brain nanotubes to crumble.
From Here (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/new-health/conditions/alzheimers/new-theory-targets-different-origins-of-alzheimers/article2414180/)


New theory targets different origins of Alzheimer’s


The average brain is wired with thousands of kilometres of nerve fibres. A new approach to understanding and potentially treating Alzheimer’s disease involves the tiny tubes found inside them.

Nerve fibres are the long arms that extend from brain cells and allow them to communicate with each other and carry information. Inside the fibres are a set of pipes, known as microtubules, that provide structural support and serve as a transportation system for the compounds that keep brain cells healthy. These tubes also regularly rebuild themselves, perhaps as often as every six to 12 hours, says Jack Tuszynski, a researcher at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

TomF
04-26-2012, 02:33 PM
Lack of zinc causes brain nanotubes to crumble.
From Here (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/new-health/conditions/alzheimers/new-theory-targets-different-origins-of-alzheimers/article2414180/)

[/LEFT]Very interesting. I see in the very last paragraph of the link that they think the same may be a factor in Parkinson's, and related diseases. Fascinating.

Paul Pless
04-26-2012, 02:51 PM
Lack of zinc causes brain nanotubes to crumble.So what are you thinking?sacrificial anodes???

TomF
04-26-2012, 03:07 PM
Maybe there's a use for foil hats after all.

B_B
04-26-2012, 04:00 PM
So what are you thinking?sacrificial anodes???
Interesting you mention that - lack of zinc apparently causes the nanotubes to start collapsing, causing the protein which builds the nanotubes to jell and a plaque to form. The plaque then attracts whatever zinc is available exacerbating the problem....much like a zinc anode attracts loose electrons (or some such, most of the interesting stuff I read goes right over my head).

Cuyahoga Chuck
04-26-2012, 06:49 PM
Actually lack of strength can be deadly, some old people get so weak they can't get out of a chair, get up if they fall over or stop themselves if they begin to fall. Strength can be a life saver as can be good balance .

Ive been a runner since '79. I'm now over 70. I'm very aware of how aging can take a person down. But what I fear most is demetia. And the linkage between resistance training and brain health over some other exercises eludes me.

htom
04-26-2012, 08:14 PM
Ive been a runner since '79. I'm now over 70. I'm very aware of how aging can take a person down. But what I fear most is demetia. And the linkage between resistance training and brain health over some other exercises eludes me.

Resistance training changes the body. Changes in the body produce changes in the brain. Changes in the brain delay dementia. I suspect that changing your exercise routine from running to some other form of exercise might be as effective; it's the change in the body that makes a change in the brain.

If three thirty minute sessions of resistance workout in a week will meaningfully delay dementia, the engineer in me says to do it, and worry about the why later.

skuthorp
04-26-2012, 10:12 PM
There was a small report today on CSIRO research into a protein that seems to act as a mitigator of the physical changes that bring it on. Not to mention coffee, an arthritis drug, a CJD drug etc. A prophylactic may be at hand but not the reason, which may be similar reasons for bee die off etc. Pesticides and preservatives and pollution from the pill are changing our ecology within and around us.