The Exadon team met Dr. Hidetoshi Endo from Japan's National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology during the filming of a special ABC Asahi TV feature on Exadon, which aired on Sep. 15, 2015.
Dr. Endo shared some of his thoughts with us about the Exadon initiative and its aims.
The Possibilities of Exadon
Dr. Hidetoshi Endo
The first step towards dementia prevention is preventing lifestyle diseases, and numerous articles indicate that aerobic exercise is beneficial for that purpose. Cognicise*, which we developed at our research center, is a combined exercise program that blends aerobic exercise and mental activities. In a double blind test involving patients with MCI (mild cognitive impairment), researchers observed that Cognicise led to partial improvements in cognitive function.
Exadon is another dementia prevention initiative, which was developed on Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture. Based on a proposal by Dr. Yoshinori Morimoto, this program is taught by members of the Kodo Group. When I tried Exadon, I was able to see for myself that playing taiko is an aerobic activity. I noticed it incorporates elements of musical therapy, too. One activity I tried was the "Echo Game," where you copy what the leader plays and play it on your own drum. It was rather challenging. Playing taiko like this is an enjoyable way to use your brain and I think it has a lot of potential for dementia prevention. The next challenges for Exadon will be establishing community networks, rolling out the initiative, and collecting data once the program is underway. Kodo's support will be paramount. This program has the potential to make senior citizens smile and, even if only fractionally, delay the onset of dementia. This is a promising Sado-based initiative.
*Cognicise is an initiative developed by the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology that blends exercise and cognitive challenges (arithmetic, word association games, etc.) to help prevent cognitive impairment.
PROFILE | Dr. Hidetoshi Endo
Director of Education and Innovation Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology
National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology (Japan)
Graduated from Shiga University of Medical Science, then Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine. A former visiting fellow at the US National Institute on Aging, and Medical Chief at Chubu National Hospital, Hidetoshi Endo assumed his current position at Japan's National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology in 2010. His numerous publications include a dementia manual for family doctors.
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