Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 26 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1512

Keeping physically fit might help to stave off vascular dementia in later life (Neurology 2008;70:1786-94; doi: 10.1212/01.wnl.0000296276.50595.86). Data from a cohort of Italians over the age of 65 show that physical activity is associated with a lower risk of vascular dementia—but not Alzheimer’s disease. The finding remained after vascular risk factors and overall health status were taken into account.

Another fascinating observation about getting fit is to be found in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2008;105:8369-74; doi: 10.1073/pnas.0803080105). A pilot study which examined changes in gene expression in 30 men with low risk prostate cancer found that when men improved their fitness, tackled their stress levels, and improved their nutrition, gene expression as sampled in prostate biopsies in more than 500 genes was affected beneficially. Some …

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