Body Clock Dementia

December 15, 2011 by staff 

Body Clock Dementia, An older woman’s sleep/wake cycle and levels of physical activity may affect her risk of developing dementia, a new study suggests.

It found that the risk of dementia or “mild cognitive impairment” (a state that sometimes precedes dementia) was higher in older women with weaker circadian rhythms who are either less physically active or more active later in the day, compared to those who have a stronger circadian rhythm and are more active earlier in the day.

“We’ve known for some time that circadian rhythms, what people often refer to as the ‘body clock,’ can have an impact on our brain and our ability to function normally,” lead author Greg Tranah, a scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute, said in an institute news release.

“What our findings suggest is that future interventions such as increased physical activity or using light exposure interventions to influence circadian rhythms, could help influence cognitive [mental] outcomes in older women,” he explained.

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