New Report: Muscle Weakness Linked to Alzheimer’s Risk in Elderly

Posted November 20, 2009

Numerous media outlets have posted stories in recent days on the research conducted by Rush University Medical Center which found that elderly people with weak muscles may be at an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.


Rush University researchers followed 970 older adults (average age of 80) who did not have dementia and during the 3-4 year follow-up period, 14% developed Alzheimer’s. Those individuals with the highest levels of muscle strength at the start of the study were 61% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.


Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has also suppoted research in this area and has found that weak muscles, possibly resulting from stroke, could be another indication of the onset of Alzheimer’s. Research has already established links between stroke and Alzheimer’s. For more information, see a study by Giuseppina Tesco et al in Neuron, 2007: 54(5): 721-37 supported by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.


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Other studies have also shown the positive effects of exercise in slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s which suggests that muscle strength in certain populations may be an indicator of the presence or onset of Alzheimer’s disease.


For more information on the role exercise plays in reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s, check out CAF’s Dr. Sam Sisodia’s article titled, “Can Exercise Help Prevent Alzheimer’s?”

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Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is proud to present a total of 25 published papers that result from our funding and support. Our researchers are making significant progress, but we need your support. Please donate today to help us find a cure.