Friday, 18 October, 2019


Exercise Found to Slow the Effects of Alzheimer's Disease

Exercise could slow withering effects of Alzheimer's Exercise Found to Slow the Effects of Alzheimer's Disease
Patty Aguilar | 21 September, 2019, 11:25

Right now, scientists still don't know what causes Alzheimer's disease and there is no known cure, but research is ongoing. In fact there is no harm in doing so now. The aim of the study will be to find out whether aerobic exercise and medication to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol can help maintain brain volume and cognitive abilities.

Lead study author Rong Zhang comments that this is the first randomized and controlled trial which assessed the effects of exercise on brain structure, function and amyloid burden in aging adults who have existing memory problems and are, thus, at an elevated risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Brain imaging showed people from the exercise group who had amyloid build-up experienced slightly less volume reduction in their hippocampus, a memory-related brain region that progressively deteriorates as dementia takes hold.

Exercising for 30 minutes four times a week may delay brain deterioration in people likely to develop Alzheimer's, scientists have shown. Current research suggests that even small changes in lifestyle can have a huge impact on brain health. "This study brings us one step closer toward teasing out the effects in people with biomarker defined Alzheimer's". One group did aerobic training while the other engaged in stretching and toning control activities. The hippocampus deals primarily with learning as well as memory, Alzheimer's mostly severely affects the area. But the burning question in my field is, 'Can we translate our growing knowledge of molecular biology into an effective treatment?

Dr. Jeremy Koppel is associate professor of psychiatry and molecular medicine at the Litwin-Zucker Center for Alzheimer's Disease & Memory Disorders, at Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y. Reading over the new findings, he said that, on the whole, the study was "disappointing" because exercise "did not have any specific effect on tests of memory, mental flexibility or amyloid deposition in patients with mild cognitive impairment". So, "it may be that aerobic exercise interventions are best targeted at those not suffering already from cognitive impairment", he said. They included survey responses only if respondents completed the bowel health questionnaire (BHQ), were at least 20 years of age, and did not report history of IBD, celiac disease or colon cancer.

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