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Invited Commentary |

Brains and Aging:  Comment on “Physical Activity and Cognition in Women With Vascular Conditions” and “Activity Energy Expenditure and Incident Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults”

Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH
Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(14):1258-1259. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.273.
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Two articles1,2 in this issue buttress growing evidence that habitual physical activity and fitness are associated with age-related changes in cognition and risk of dementia.

The article by Vercambre et al1 is a previously unplanned analysis of data from the Women's Antioxidant Cardiac Study (WACS), which began in 1995 and is well known for showing that antioxidant vitamins had no demonstrable benefit in secondary prevention of vascular disease. Vercambre et al examined the relationship between levels of physical activity and preservation of cognitive function in older women at high risk for vascular events. Cognitive function was measured over time using the Telephone Interview of Cognitive Status (TICS), a rather crude measure originally designed for use by insurance companies to screen out applicants for long-term care insurance who might have dementia.

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