Posted on Apr 30, 2010, 6 a.m.
Combination of moderate physical exercise and computer use may help protect against mild cognitive impairment.
Whereas physical exercise, cognitive activity, and caloric intake are independently associated with mild cognitive impairment, Yonas E. Geda, from Mayo Clinic (Minnesota, USA), and colleagues assessed the joint combined effects of these factors on memory decline. The researchers followed 926 men and women, ages 70 to 90 years, enrolled in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging. Subjects completed questionnaires surveying their physical exercise and cognitive activities during the past year. The team found that those subjects who engaged in any amount of moderate exercise were 36% less likely to have mild cognitive impairment, as compared to those subjects who did not exercise at all. Additionally, the study participants who engaged in any amount of computer use were 44% less likely to have mild cognitive impairment, as compared to those who did not use the computer at all. Most interestingly, when the researchers accounted for other risk factors for mild cognitive impairment, they found a synergistic effect, concluding that: “Our joint effect analyses suggest that moderate physical exercise and computer use in late life may have a beneficial interaction.”
Yonas E. Geda, Rosebud O. Roberts, David S. Knopman, Teresa Christianson, Vernon Pankratz, Bradley Boeve, Robert Ivnik, Eric Tangalos, Walter Rocca, Ronald Petersen. “Physical Exercise, Cognitive Activity, Caloric Intake, and Mild Cognitive Impairment: The Mayo Clinic Study of Aging” (Abstract S44.004)