Symposium, Physical activity to boost neuroplasticity in older adults_ Opportunities and strategies
Purpose: This symposium will discuss physical activity opportunities, linked to neuroplasticity in older adults. Rationale: Dementia currently affects more than 47 million people worldwide, and it is estimated that 75 million people will be living with dementia by 2030. Furthermore confusion is considered one of the 5 so called geriatric giants and presents a large burden in our aging societies. Developing preventive, evidence-based strategies to promote healthy cognitive aging is therefore considered a global challenge and priority. Objectives: The main aim of this symposium is to share and discuss insights into the role of physical activity on the aging brain. More specifically we aim to explore how physical activity programs for older adults can boost neuroplasticity and improve insights on the impact of participation in physical activity and of exposure to blue/green infrastructures on cognitive health. Summary: The symposium consists of three presentations focusing on physical activity and cognition in older adults. While there is increasing evidence that cognitively enriched physical activity has the potential to boost neuroplasticity, little is known on how this can be implemented in real life settings. The first presentation will therefore focus on an existing physical activity intervention for older adults, the Healthy Walks. Based on focus groups with participants and walking coaches feasible strategies will be proposed to cognitively enrich Healthy Walks. The second presentation will present the ?Active Plus Intervention?, in older adults with chronic illness(es) and will explore effects on cognitive function. The third presentation will present a research programme on the use and impact of urban blue spaces on physical activity and cognitive function.