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6th December 2013

Physical exercise may have positive impact on symptoms of dementia, new study indicates

A new study published on December 4 is among the research first to show that exercise may improve the lives of people already living with dementia - helping to improve memory, attention and cognitive function rather than simply slowing their deterioration.

The research was carried out by a team at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and published at the online Cochrane Library on December 4.

The authors of the study, led by Dorothy Forbes, say: "There is promising evidence that exercise programmes can have a significant impact in improving ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) and possibly in improving cognition in people with dementia."

The authors also add that exercise may therefore indirectly benefit caregivers and healthcare providers by reducing some of the burden of dementia.

Dr Doug Brown, director of research and development at the Alzheimer's Society, commented: "Even in the later stages of dementia people can benefit from different types of activities such as gardening or singing or even seated exercises, when they're no longer able to stand."

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