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Physical inactivity, cardiometabolic disease, and risk of dementia: an individual-participant meta-analysis

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l1495 (Published 17 April 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1495

Linked BMJ Opinion

Reflections on null findings: the case of physical activity and risk of dementia

Re: Physical inactivity, cardiometabolic disease, and risk of dementia: an individual-participant meta-analysis

Dementia carries many risk factors from nutritional deficiency to genetic susceptibility to loss of cognitive function. Physical inactivity is one of the many geriatric problems faced by the elderly due to a physical cause or mental condition. The loss of communication, the loss of a sense of belonging or the sudden demise of one's spouse influence the mental attitude of a geriatric patient. The loss of interest in carrying out day to day activities and the period of retirement from an active profession add up to the loss of mental acuity as well as the need to remember things to be done routinely. We have witnessed elderly people measuring and placing their bed at a distance suitable for them to reach the bathroom for their daily chores. These small adjustments are related to their mental as well as to their slowing down metabolic processes that need to trigger their neuronal activity to process information and relay it.

A person who keeps himself or herself with intellectual activity like processing information or data or say research findings sharpens their faculty of reasoning and keeps their cognitive as well as other higher domains of learning and experience.

Physical inactivity may result in cardio-metabolic disease. Yet if these patients are given an opportunity to continue their profession actively or keep their learning activity or analytical capacity it will take care of their physical as well as mental health in a positive way. Elders require to be recognized and given their due respect as well as their due place in society to create healthy solutions to physical as well as mental health problems.

Competing interests: No competing interests

25 April 2019
Dhastagir Sultan Sheriff
Professor, Independent Research Worker
Reprolabs Chennai
Chennai,India