Almost any amount of moderate physical activity in mid- or late life reduced the odds of mild cognitive impairment by 30% to 40% in an ongoing cohort study, researchers reported.

Men and women derived similar benefit, which was limited to moderate exercise -- not light or vigorous physical activity, investigators wrote in the January Archives of Neurology.

"Our findings contribute to the growing body of literature that indicates the potentially beneficial relationship between physical exercise and cognition," Yonas E. Geda, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues concluded. "A future population-based cohort study is needed to confirm whether physical exercise is associated with decreased risk of incident mild cognitive impairment."



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