Alzheimer’s : dance slows cognitive decline

Health 27 August, 2017


Published the 27.08.2017 at 12.25 p.m


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Dancing stay young. This is the message carried by a study presented in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. These works show that practicing the waltz, the tango or the fox-trot would slow down the appearance of signs of brain aging, and protect and dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease.

To demonstrate the benefits of the dance, the researchers at the center for neurodegenerative diseases Magdeburg (Germany) were studied for 18 months and 26 volunteers aged on average 68 years. Fourteen of them have taken dance classes, while other participants have practiced a physical activity is more traditional, such as flexibility exercises, cycling or nordic walking.

“In the dance group, we try to teach the seniors a dance, different each week, such as jazz or Latin-american dances, describes Dr. Kathrin Rehfeld, lead author of the study. The not, the placement of the arms, the speed and the pace were changed every week to ensure that they are maintained in a learning process. The biggest challenge for them was to remember the choreography while they were subject to time pressure and were not receiving any instruction of the teachers “

The volume of the hippocampus increases

A race that has borne fruit. By studying the brains of volunteers, researchers have found that the volume of the hippocampus, an area that plays a central role in memory and the ability to locate themselves in the space, was increased in all of the world. However, the benefits are significantly better in the group of dancers. These last are, moreover, a better balance.

“With this study, we show that two types of physical exercise increase the brain region linked to cognitive decline, but only the dance has led to visible changes in improving the balance of the volunteers “, summarizes the researcher.