Many organizations are working to create more proactive methods of preventing Alzheimer's disease in individuals. Rush University Medical Center researchers recently completed a study that found physical activity, especially among those 80 years and older, can slow the onset of cognitive degradation and may lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
While this might not change popular methods of Alzheimer's care, it could decrease the rate of people with the disease. The study's authors placed actigraphs - a device that measures physical activity - on 716 participants who had no cognitive issues and were aged around 80 years old.
"The results of our study indicate that all physical activities including exercise as well as other activities such as cooking, washing the dishes, and cleaning are associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Aron S. Buchman, lead author of the study and associate professor of neurological sciences at Rush.
According to data from the Alzheimer's Association, more than 5 million people have the disease, while Alzheimer's care costs close to $200 billion annually. Additionally, the organization cites that close to 15 million people are considered unpaid Alzheimer's caregivers.