Because the loss of muscle strength is common and is associated with various health problems in old age, Patricia A. Boyle and her colleagues at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Illinois studied more than 900 people. The subjects’ average age was 80, and they were without dementia at the study’s start. The researchers measured the subjects’ strength in nine muscle groups in the arms, legs and axial muscles.
During the follow-up period, which averaged 3.6 years, 138 persons developed Alzheimer’s. After adjusting for confounding factors, the team found that muscle strength strongly influenced the risk of Alzheimer’s disease: Subjects who ranked in the top 10 percent for muscle strength were 61 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than the weakest 10 percent.
Physically stronger participants also showed a slower decline in their mental abilities over time. Additionally, the relationship between muscle strength and mild mental difficulties, which occurred in an additional 275 people, was similar, with the strongest 10 percent being at 48 percent lower risk than the weakest 10 percent.
“These findings suggest a link between muscle strength, Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline in older persons,” the researchers stated. They posit that there is something going on in the body that causes both muscle weakness and loss of mental ability.
—Dr. Bob Goldman
Boyle, P.A., et al. (2009). Association of muscle strength with the risk of Alzheimer disease and the rate of cognitive decline in community-dwelling older persons. Arch Neurol. 66:1339-1344.
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Dr. Robert M. Goldman MD, PhD, DO, FAASP has spearheaded the development of numerous international medical organizations and corporations. Dr. Goldman has served as a Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Filene Center, Tufts University; as an Affiliate at the Philosophy of Education Research Center, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, He is Clinical Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Korea Medical University; and Professor, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Central America Health Sciences, Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Goldman holds the positions of Visiting Professor, Udayana University School of Medicine, Indonesia; Visiting Professor, Huazhong University of Science & Technology Tong Ji Medical School, China; Visiting Professor, The Wuhan Institute of Science & Technology, China; Visiting Professor at Hainan Medical College, China; and Visiting Professor, School of Anti-Aging, Aesthetics and Regenerative Medicine, UCSI University, Malaysia. Dr. Goldman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sports Physicians and a Board Diplomat in Sports Medicine and Board Certified in Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Goldman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sports Physicians and a Board Diplomat in Sports Medicine and Board Certified in Anti-Aging Medicine. He has overseen cooperative research agreement development programs in conjunction with such prominent institutions as the American National Red Cross, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Defense, and the FDA's Center for Devices & Radiological Health.
Dr Goldman was awarded the 2012 LifeTime Achievement Award in Medicine &Science. Dr. Goldman is the recipient of the 'Gold Medal for Science, the Grand Prize for Medicine, the Humanitarian Award, and the Business Development Award. He received honors from Minister of Sports and government Health officials of numerous nations. In 2001, Excellency Juan Antonio Samaranch awarded Dr. Goldman the International Olympic Committee Tribute Diploma for contributions to the development of sport & Olympism.
In addition, Dr. Goldman is a black belt in karate, Chinese weapons expert, and world champion athlete with over 20 world strength records, he has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. Some of his past performance records include 13,500 consecutive situps and 321 consecutive handstand pushups. Dr. Goldman was an All-College athlete in four sports, a three time winner of the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Physical Fitness Award, was voted Athlete of the Year, was the recipient of the Champions Award, and was inducted into the World Hall of Fame of Physical Fitness. Dr. Goldman was awarded the Healthy American Fitness Leader Award from the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Goldman is Chairman of the International Medical Commission overseeing sports medicine committees in over 184 nations. He has served as a Special Advisor to the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. He is founder and international President Emeritis of the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the cofounder and Chairman of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M). Dr. Goldman visits an average of 20 countries annually to promote brain research and sports medicine programs.