A study that followed more than 1,600 Canadians over five years found that sedentary older adults with no genetic risk factors for dementia may be just as likely to develop the disease as those who are genetically predisposed to it.
The findings, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, shed new light on the relationship between genes, lifestyle risk factors and dementia.
The researchers, who tracked participants in the Canadian Study of Health and Aging, found that while carriers of a variant of the ‘apolipoprotein E’ genotype are more likely to develop dementia, inactivity dramatically increases the risk for non-carriers.
“Although age is an important marker for dementia, there is more and more research showing the link between genetic and lifestyle factors,” said Parminder Raina, a co-author of the paper. “This research shows that exercise can mitigate the risk of dementia for people without the variant of the apolipoprotein genotype.”
In a separate ongoing study, researchers are comparing the possible benefits of high-intensity training (HIIT) versus moderate continuous training (MCT) and stretching in older adults.
Paper: “Physical Exercise Moderates the Relationship of Apolipoprotein E (APOE) Genotype and Dementia Risk: A Population-Based Study”
Reprinted from materials provided by McMaster University.