However, the link between worry and Alzheimer's
disease was less robust among African-Americans. Researchers say
older African-Americans may have developed personal or social traits
that help reduce psychological distress or its negative effects on
health, but more study is needed to explain this.
Research shows walking
might ward off Alzheimer's
New findings walking regularly at age 70 and
beyond can help keep the mind sharp.
Walking regularly at age 70 and beyond can help
keep the mind sharp and ward off Alzheimer's disease, according to
research suggesting that what is good for the heart is also good for
Some previous studies found that physical
activity might stave off mental decline. But the new findings,
contained in two studies, show that the activity does not have to be
In more good news for older people, another study
suggests that the benefits of a Mediterranean diet rich in fish,
olive oil and fruits and vegetables extend into old age, increasing
longevity even in men and women in their 70s, 80s and 90s.
"This study is important because it is often
thought that diet, alcohol, physical activity and smoking doesn't
matter anymore in old age," said nutrition researcher Kim Knoops of
The Netherlands' Wageningen University, the lead author.
One study, involving 2,257 retired men ages 71 to
93, found that those who walked less than a quarter-mile a day were
almost twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's or other forms of
dementia as men who walked more than two miles daily.
A study of 16,466 female nurses ages 70 to 81
found that even women who walked a leisurely 1½ hours a week did
better on tests of mental function than less active women.
"We were a bit surprised that something so modest
as walking would be associated with apparent cognitive benefits.
That was really the surprise," said Jennifer Weuve, a Harvard School
of Public Health researcher who led the nurses study.
Previous studies have linked mental exercise,
such as crossword puzzles and reading, with a reduced risk of
Alzheimer's. The new research shows physical exercise helps, too.