Exercise may ward off Alzheimer's
Exercise may help preserve brain health and could even help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and other cognitive disorders, according to new research.
Previous studies have shown that endurance exercise improves brain function, but this study brings researchers one step closer to understanding the molecular mechanisms behind these findings.
The study, published in an online issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, examined the effect of endurance exercise on mice. The mice ran on an exercise wheel for 30 days, during and after which researchers studied the animals’ brain function.
Researchers found that exercise caused mice to produce more of certain protein (BDNF) that helps protect the brain’s hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in learning and memory.
By understanding the specific molecular pathway that links exercise to increased BDNF levels, the researchers said they will be better able to develop drugs that have the same qualities, which may be able to help slow the progression of cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.