Activity and Lifestyle factors in the elderly: Its relationship with Degenerative diseases and Depression

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Guest Editor
Carol Dillon, MD, PhD and Fernando Taragano, MD, PhD.
Department of Neurology, Section: SIREN, 
CEMIC University Hospital
National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) 
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Manuscript Topics
Much has been written over the ages about the benefits of exercise and physical activity. Marcus Tullius Cicero stated, in _65 BC, that “It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor”. Over the past decade, there has been increasing focus on the influence of a number of lifestyle factors, including intellectual engagement, social interaction, nutrition, and physical activity, on the cognitive vitality of older adults. Some of these studies have examined changes in cognition within the normal range, whereas others have asked whether lifestyle factors reduce the risk or delay the onset of age-associated diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Vascular Dementia, Parkinson´s disease and Depression. Physical activity in midlife seems to protect from dementia in old age. Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) is a particularly important due to its broader effects on health in general and cardiovascular health in particular.

Moreover, Depression in people over 60 is associated with lower physical activity. The low level of physical activity is part of Fragility Syndrome. This syndrome is understood as a state of reduced physiological reserve and reduced ability to respond to stressors; in this syndrome depressive symptoms are frequent. Exercise may reduce depressive symptoms both in healthy aged populations and in old patients diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. Another factors that contributes to reduce depressive symptoms is engaging in social activities and cognitive stimulation.

Human beings possess a considerable reserve capacity that allows them to benefit from exposure to highly enriched environments. Environmental complexity states that those individuals involved in activities that require greater cognitive demands keep their cognitive abilities undamaged despite the passing of time.

This special issue will focus on different aspects of activity: relating physical activity to fragility syndrome, describing the impact of physical activity in the quality of life of elderly patients with cognitive impairment, depression and dementia, physical and intellectual activity as a protective factors in elderly patients with neuropsychiatric diseases.

Also of interest are papers dealing with social and recreational activities in elderly patients with cognitive impairment, dementia, depression or other neurodegenerative disease. Nutrition and its implications in Alzheimer's disease, Vascular Dementia and Parkinson´s disease. Lifestyle factors in old age.

Key words: Elderly, Physical Activity, Intellectual activity , Cognitive Stimulation, Lifestyle Factors, Social and recreational activities, Quality of Life, Cognitive Impairment, Depression, Vascular Dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson´s disease.

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All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed before their acceptance for publication.
The deadline for manuscript submission is 30th June 2015.

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