How Diet and Exercise Affect Alzheimer’s
Protein build-ups in the brain, called plaques and tangles, have been associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease for some time. According to a new study, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and a normal body mass index (BMI) can reduce plaques and tangles.
The study was small—44 adults between the ages of 40 and 85. Participants had minor memory changes, but no dementia. Researchers conducted experimental PET scans of the participants’ brains to measure plaques and tangles, measured BMI, and evaluated lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise. They found that each of the “healthy lifestyle markers” was linked to a lower level of plaques and tangles.
While earlier studies showed the link between healthy lifestyle factors and delayed Alzheimer’s onset, this study showed the direct effect of these factors on the brain in people with mild memory loss who have not yet developed dementia.
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