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For older adults at risk of dementia, regular exercise from light stretching to rigorous aerobics can help slow memory and thinking decline, a new study shows.
Alzheimer’s researchers said the findings are from a late-stage trial measuring exercise as a potential remedy for people with mild cognitive decline. And they described it as a new avenue to attack a neurodegenerative disease that for decades has stymied researchers and pharmaceutical companies.
Drug companies have focused on a theory that Alzheimer’s is triggered by amyloid beta plaques in patients’ brains, but drugs targeting amyloid have failed to slow the mind-robbing disease that afflicts 5.8 million Americans.
Maria Carrillo, chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Association, said the exercise study fits a broader, multifaceted strategy to attack the disease with both drugs and behavioral changes.
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