Cognitive and Emotional Health Project Committee Project

A National Institute of Health (NIH) Cognitive and Emotional Health Project committee has found that exercise and maintaining heart health also maintain brain health. The committee determined that avoiding hypertension, controlling blood pressure, increasing physical activity, and other factors are all preventative against cognitive decline. These factors all contributed to preventing emotional problems caused by dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

The committee reviewed 96 previous studies that focused on brain health. Multiple branches of NIH concurred that the same factors that contribute to cardiovascular health have a positive effect on the cognitive and emotional health of individuals over 65 years in age. The study by NIH looked at large longitudinal cohort studies of mostly elderly subjects (65 and older). The studies reviewed also measured cognitive and emotional response, as well as biological and psychosocial data for study participants. They found that numerous risk factors were consistently linked with cognitive health and that they were the same risk factors linked to cardiovascular health. The study identified more physical activity and control of hypertension among top preventative tools to both cardiovascular and cognitive health, while lead exposure, alcoholism, and poor sleep were among risks.

The link between the healthier living and cognitive risk is suggestive and has numerous applications. The article suggests that knowledge of such a link could effectively prevent dementia and other diseases, since exercise and watch blood pressure are free. Exercise is also available to those of all ages since it can be done at varying levels. Finally, the impact of this study may reduce medical costs and future planning of individuals, especially the elderly.

I chose this article because it is relevant to current healthcare issues and patient needs. It has been long suggested (and assumed) that exercise might prevent the onset of dementia and other brain functions of elderly individuals.

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