Physical activity slows cognitive decline in older adults with type 2 diabetes

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There is a positive association between physical activity and cognitive decline in older adults with T2d who initially displayed normal cognitive function and independence, according to a study, which suggested maintaining an active lifestyle could potentially delay or prevent the onset of dementia in this vulnerable population.

The study included a population-based cohort of 1213 cognitively normal adults aged  ≥65 with T2d over 18 months, classified into 3 groups based on their self-reported physical activity: the “active” group (n = 286), engaged in recreational physical activities; the “non-active” group (n = 93), whose only physical activity was walking from place to place; and the “sedentary” group (n = 19).

The study’s results showed that the active group had a significantly slower rate of decline in Global Cognition, Executive Functioning, and Attention/Working Memory compared to the non-active group. However, no significant differences were observed in Semantic Categorization and Episodic Memory between groups.

Rabinowitz Y, Ravona-Springer R, Heymann A, et al. Physical Activity Is Associated with Slower Cognitive Decline in Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes. J Prev Alzheimers Dis. 2023;10(3):497-502. doi: 10.14283/jpad.2023.26. PMID: 37357290.