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BMC Geriatrics: Doing more housework can also prevent Alzheimer’s disease!
BMC Geriatrics: Doing more housework can also prevent Alzheimer’s disease! In many countries, with the gradual increase in the level of aging, the incidence of age-related diseases has increased, such as dementia. According to data, there are about 50 million Alzheimer’s patients worldwide, and about 10 million new cases are diagnosed every year. The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed it as the focus of prevention and treatment.
At present, the known factors leading to the onset of cognitive impairment and dementia are genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. Broadly speaking, physical activity refers to any activity that involves physical movement and aims to improve health, including non-structural daily activities (professional or family activities, etc.), and leisure sports activities (fitness, dance, or yoga, etc.). Studies have shown that in the elderly, exercise intervention can increase the volume of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.
Recently, a study published in the journal BMC Geriatrics revealed for the first time that spending time on housework may help improve brain health, especially for the elderly. Researchers have found that older people who spend more time doing housework have greater brain capacity, especially in the frontal lobe and hippocampus, the brain areas involved in memory and cognition.
In this study, the researchers enrolled 66 elderly people without cognitive impairment from Baycrest Hospital in Toronto for health assessment, brain structure imaging and cognitive assessment. The questionnaire was used to collect the participants’ status in housework, such as dust cleaning, meal preparation and cleaning, shopping, heavy housework, yard work, home maintenance and care, to understand the impact of housework on brain health.
The relationship between physical activity and brain capacity.
Researchers found that family activities rather than recreational activities were positively correlated with brain volume measurements (F = 3.07, p = .035), especially gray matter volume (t = 2.51, p = .015). Further exploratory analysis found that family activities are related to the hippocampus (p = .015) and the volume of the prefrontal cortex (p = .010). The hippocampus plays a major role in memory and learning, while the frontal lobe is involved in many aspects of cognition.
The researchers further explained the benefits of family activities to the brain. First, heart health is closely related to brain health. Housework may have effects on the heart and blood vessels similar to low-intensity aerobic exercise. Second, over time, plans and organizations involved in housework may promote the formation of new neural connections over time. Third, it may be that older people who do more housework spend less time in sedentary life, which has been shown to be related to negative health consequences, including poor brain health.
In summary, the time spent on family sports activities is positively correlated with the brain capacity of the elderly (especially gray matter). The study emphasizes the benefits associated with housework, and low-risk forms of physical exercise to motivate older people to be more active. In the future, researchers hope to use wearable technology to more objectively assess the changes in the family’s brain.
(source:internet, reference only)