Alzheimer’s: walking 8,900 steps a day could prevent disease

Walking 8,900 steps every day could prevent Alzheimer’s disease, according a new study published in the JAMA Neurology journal.

The study assessed 182 participants aged 73 on how physical activity affects neurodegeneration (degeneration of the brain).

The research group included people with elevated b-amyloid, which is a protein that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, who were seen to be at a greater risk of cognitive decline.

Scientists at the Harvard Ageing Brain Study conducted the study at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA, over an eight-year period from 2010 until 2018.

The Alzheimer’s Society estimates that 850,000 people are currently living with dementia in the UK.

Jasmeer Chhatwal, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and author of the study, said: “One of the most striking findings from our study was that greater physical activity not only appeared to have positive effects on slowing cognitive decline but also on slowing the rate of brain tissue loss over time in normal people who had high levels of amyloid plaque in the brain.”

The study found that increased physical activity led to a reduction in cognitive decline, with scientists concluding that walking 8,900 steps every day could be linked to a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Reisa Sperling, Director of the Centre for Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment and co-author of the study, said: “Beneficial effects were seen at even modest levels of physical activity, but were most prominent at around 8,900 steps, which is only slightly less than the 10,000 many of us strive to achieve daily.”



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