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Exercise your body to keep your brain fit

by Margery Gass | Feb 15, 2013
Midlife women just got another great reason to get physically fit: your brain will probably stay fit, too. Studies have hinted at this for some time. Now, an excellent new study makes a strong case. Researchers at a Texas preventive care practice looked at the treadmill test results in middle age for more than 19,000 of their older patients and also for any diagnosis of dementia in the patients’ Medicare records. They found that people who had higher fitness levels treadmill tests in middle age were less likely to develop dementia later in life. In fact, the men and women with the highest fitness levels were 35% less likely to have dementia than those with the lowest level. We don’t know yet exactly what the link might be between physical and brain fitness, but the study showed that it wasn’t just because the fitter people had fewer strokes. They also had less Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. So let’s get moving! We’ve got a great new reason.


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1 Comment

  1. 1 Lisa 20 Sep
    Hello Dr. Gass,

    I recently (Dec 2013) had a Total H with BSO for
    endometrial cancer diagnosis  which turned out to be negative after
    biopsy. There was a very small location of atypical hyperplasia found. I
    am 54 but I was not in menopause at the time of the surgery. I have
    really struggled that past months and recently started the Vivelle
    Dot.   I did not know about reduced testosterone levels until after the
    operation. No one told me.

    I am convinced that low testosterone is one of the reasons women develop Alzheimer's. I am concerned that the estrogen I am now getting through the patch will lead to lower
    testosterone levels.

    I guess my question is if there is any research that is looking at this possibility - connection between Alzheimer's and testosterone levels. I am not sure what to do. I do know I was not coping without the patch. My blood pressure went high. I was anxious constantly. I went to a psychiatrist (which I would have never done previously) and diagnosed with adjustment disorder.  My
    career was in jeapordy - it still is to some degree. My communication skills have deteriorated (wrong word, lost words) and I cannot work the hours I could before the surgery. I have had a headache since starting the patch. It gets worse at times. I have learned to live with it but
    not a very good quality of life. I am trying a reduced patch (0.0375) this week.

    Prior to this year I was very healthy. No medicines.
    Successful career. Second question is if there is a support group. I
    would like to meet a successful healthy older woman that has had a Total
    H with BSO. Blog groups on the internet can be depressing. While I do not
    think about it all the time since I started the Vivelle patch, I believe that this surgery did not save my life but instead will lead to a lower quality of life and shorter life. I want to change that thought process and have a much more positive outlook.

    Thanks for listening.

    Lisa

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MenoPause: the blog!

Posts to our Blog are written by NAMS staff members and Dr. Margery Gass. All posts are reviewed and edited by Dr. Gass. We strive to bring you the most recent and interesting information about various aspect of menopause and midlife health. We accept no advertising for our website. We want you to have accurate, unbiased, evidence-based information. 

Margery L.S. Gass, MD, NCMP
NAMS Executive Director

An internationally recognized leader in the field of menopause, Dr. Gass became Executive Director of The North American Menopause Society in 2010. Dr. Gass has been an investigator on numerous research projects, including serving as a principal investigator for the Women’s Health Initiative, and has published and presented on a wide range of topics related to menopause, including osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction, and hormone therapy.

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