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Pushing Back the Clock

Many people experience lapses in memory as they get older. Every so often, it may become frustratingly difficult or even temporarily impossible to recall a particular word or a specific person's name. A person might commit a phone number to memory and then immediately forget it. Of course, everyone is familiar with the sinking feeling associated with the critical question "where did I put my keys?" For most people these glitches are minor, nothing more. However, for a certain percentage of older persons (approximately 10-20%), these lapses represent mild cognitive impairment.1 And for a proportion of these people, mild cognitive impairment will progress to Alzheimer's disease.

Normal aging can include instances of subtle forgetfulness such as having difficulty recalling words, not remembering where you put an important document, or leaving a full milk carton on the kitchen counter overnight. But the memory loss associated with mild cognitive impairment represents an actual condition, i.e., an actual disease entity. Such memory loss is more prominent. People forget important information such as meaningful telephone conversations, recent events that would normally be of interest, and dates and times of appointments.

In the early stages it may be challenging to differentiate mild cognitive impairment from the effects of normal aging. Some suspected cases of impaired mental activity may in fact represent treatable conditions such as depression and an underactive thyroid. People experiencing the significant memory problems associated with mild cognitive impairment may be expected to decline by about 10% each year. Risk factors associated with more rapid decline include a low metabolic rate in regions of the brain associated with memory and processing of information. More rapid decline is also associated with reduced size of the hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped structure located in the center of the brain which is important in memory, spatial memory, and navigation.

The good news is that people can take action on their own behalf to preserve and improve cognitive function. Numerous recent studies have shown that regular exercise provides a significant benefit in people with memory problems.2,3 For example, long-term improvements in cognitive function were obtained by walking for 50 minutes a day, three times per week. People exercising for 150 minutes each week had better delayed recall and they performed better on cognitive tests. Additionally, people doing moderate exercise had lower Clinical Dementia Rating Scores. In one study, a 6-month program of physical activity resulted in improvements which persisted over an 18-month period.

The message is clear. We want to have the opportunity to get older and we also want to live well. There are natural effects of normal aging, but we don't want other potential effects of aging to grind us down. Exercising is an important action step that has a wide range of benefits, including improved cardiovascular and respiratory function. We now know that exercise can also preserve and improve cognitive abilities. It's smart to do regular exercise to help us stay smart.

1Petersen RC: Clinical practice. Mild cognitive impairment. NEJM 364(23):2227-2234, 2011
2Lautenschlager NT, et al: Effect of physical activity on cognitive function in older adults at risk for Alzheimer disease. JAMA 300(9):1027-1037, 2008
3Prohaska TR, et al: Walking and the preservation of cognitive function in older populations. Gerontologist 49(Suppl 1):S86-S93, 2009

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Jupiter: 561-744-7373

Monday:

8:00am - 12:00pm 2:00pm - 7:00 pm

Tuesday:

2:00 pm 7:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00-12:00 am 2:00-7:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am 12:00 pm

Friday:

8:00-12:00 am 2:00-7:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am 12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Palm Beach Gardens: 561-630-9598

Monday:

8:00am-12:00pm 2:00pm -7:00pm

Tuesday:

2:00pm-7:00pm

Wednesday:

8:00am-12:00am 2:00pm-7:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00am-12:00pm

Friday:

8:00-12:00 am 2:00-7:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Port St. Lucie: 772-337-1300

Monday:

8:00am-12:00pm

2:00pm-7:00om

Tuesday:

2:00pm

7:00pm

Wednesday:

8:00am-12:00pm

2:00pm-7:00pm

Thursday:

8:00am

12:00pm

Friday:

8:00am-12:00pm

2:00pm-7:00pm

Saturday:

closed

closed

Sunday:

closed

closed

Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "My son was referred for PT due to a sports injury. The Physician and Physical Therapist therapist did an amazing job and after 3 sessions he was completely back to normal with full range of motion and no pain. Thank you guys for doing a great job!"
    Mark Shim, 2022
  • "This is the one and only chiropractor I've ever been to. I've been here 2 times and Papa is amazing. He spotted exactly where my pain was fixed me right up. Great staff and awesome service!"
    Adonis Carrasquillo, 2022
  • "I have been a physical therapy patient since 2012. I first used the office for knee rehabilitation. I have had several knee surgeries since. The latest was a broken hip and collar bone. I commend the staff here as they are friendly and professional!"
    Richard Howard, 2022
  • "All of the staff is professional and friendly. Scott and the rest of the Physical therapists do a fabulous job. They are knowledgeable & optimistic on how they can help you. With their support I’m back to full range of motion which I didn’t think was possible. Great team to work with to get back to living!"
    V. Patterson, 2021
  • "I highly recommend coming here or if you have any adjustments that you need or if you’re in any type of pain he definitely takes his time to evaluate you and your situation the staff is very accommodating and friendly. Highly recommend!"
    Jodie Alvarez, 2021
  • "I’m status post hip replacement sept 10th. The staff is terrific. Scott really knows his business . At this point in time, no pain, positive range of motion and strength to that extremity all because of the team work that exists at Papa’s"
    Maureen Simone, 2021
  • "Have been taking treatment from the facility in Jupiter since December 2019 after reinjuring a compromised knee. The staff are all very knowledgeable and proficient, and the people including fellow patients are sociable and friendly, adding extra value and fun to the experience. I have made outstanding progress in a speedy recovery, thanks to everyone helping me and personal attention from Dr. Papa and his associates, Dr. West and Physical Therapists Scott, Krystal, and Paige. Highly recommend this Practice. Wish that they were an option when I injured my knee in high school and later at basic boot camp decades ago. Looking forward to surfing, mountain climbing, skydiving, and bungee jumping again. (LoL!)"
    Richard Kluesek, 2021