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The effects of moderate physical exercise on cognition in adults over 60 years of age
INTRODUCTION. Clinical evidence gathered in recent years indicates that elderly individuals more frequently display cognitive changes. These age-related changes refer, above all, to memory functions and to the speed of thinking and reasoning. A number of studies have shown that physical activity can be used as an important mechanism for protecting the cognitive functions.
AIM. To test the hypothesis that physical exercise is able to bring about changes in the cognitive functions of healthy elderly adults without cognitive impairment, thereby improving their quality of life.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS. The study population included participants in the University of Salamanca geriatric revitalisation programme. The sample initially consisted of a total of 44 subjects of both sexes, with a mean age of 74.93 years. The neuropsychological evaluation of the subjects included a series of validated neuropsychological tests: Mini-Mental State Examination, Benton Visual Retention Test, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Stroop Test and Trail Making Test.
RESULTS. The results show that more physical activity is related to better performance in the cognitive functions of the subjects included in this study, after applying the geriatric revitalisation programme.