Lifestyle changes for cognition and dementia: better than a new drug?

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Should all molecular research institutes looking at neurodegenerative diseases be replaced by parks, playgrounds and cycle paths? Mark Horowitz highlights a recent systematic review of modifiable risk factors associated with cognition and dementia, which suggests that from a public health perspective, there may be some sense in this idea.

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Does depression make us lethargic, or does lack of exercise make us depressed?

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Helge Hasselmann highlights a new cohort study in JAMA Psychiatry, which finds a bidirectional relationship between physical activity and depressive symptoms; strengthening the case for exercise as a recommended intervention for people with mild depression.

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Exercise for the prevention and treatment of antenatal depression

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Meg Fluharty summarises a recent systematic review looking at exercise for antenatal depression. The review finds preliminary evidence to suggest that exercise may be effective in reducing depression during pregnancy, but the quality of included trials is low to moderate.

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Cognitive and exercise interventions for older adults with and without cognitive impairment

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Jake Crawshaw reports on a recent systematic review of cognitive and exercise interventions for older people with and without cognitive impairment.

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Exercise for severe mental illness: new review finds few benefits

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This new systematic review concludes that exercise programmes can lead to an improvement in exercise activity, but have no significant effect on mental health symptoms or body weight in people with severe mental illness.

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Program of regular exercise may be beneficial in reducing depression in older adults

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The evidence-base supporting the use of exercise for depression is ever growing. Susie Johnson reports on a recent systematic review that adds to the discussion, but it’s not without its own limitations.

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Are there any effective interventions for preventing falls in older people with mental health problems?

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Falls are estimated to cost the NHS more than £2.3 billion per year (College of Optometrists, 2011) and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. This fact alone should be giving us the drive to look for ways to prevent falls in healthcare settings. A systematic review recently published in BMC Nursing (Bunn et al, 2014) is [read the full story...]

Exercise may help older people with dementia, but more research is needed

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Many of our older readers will remember tales of the Great Elf Mother running miles every day, o’er hills and vales, to bring the very latest evidence-based research to us younger elves at the breakfast table. It was she who inspired our National Elf Service, and I’m delighted to say that she’s still going strong [read the full story...]

Weak evidence from recent review suggests there is no harm when using exercise to treat anorexia nervosa

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Exercise is usually promoted as a healthy behaviour, with government guidelines on how much we should all do per week. At the right levels many people find exercise an enjoyable way to improve their health, but is this always the case? For a particular group of people who have problems with eating and weight, this [read the full story...]

CAM: Many of us are using it, despite poor evidence. Whats going on?

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Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies are often perceived to be as effective as conventional treatments, more “natural”, less expensive, have fewer side-effects and are easily available without a prescription. But do these perceptions match up with the reality? Can CAM therapies be helpful additions to conventional treatments? This alludes to an interesting sociological question [read the full story...]