Aerobic exercise linked to reduced susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease in high-risk adults, study says

According tomedia New Atlas, previous studies have shown us how regular exercise can be beneficial for cognitive function and help prevent brain degeneration associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but scientists are still learning how it works. The latest findings in this field come from researchers at the University of Wisconsin, who described a new study published recently describing the relationship between regular aerobic exercise and reduced susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease in high-risk adults.

Aerobic exercise linked to reduced susceptibility to Alzheimer's disease in high-risk adults, study says

A growing body of research is establishing a growing link between exercise and preventing or mitigating Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Last September, one study found that regular aerobic exercise slowed the degeneration of the hippocampus, while another study from early 2019 found that hormones released during exercise improved the brain’s plasticity and memory.

In the new study, researchers at the University of Wisconsin recruited 23 subjects, all of whom were cognitively healthy young people, who had a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease due to family history and genetic factors. All people lead what researchers describe as sedentary lifestyles and are first examined to assess their cardiopulmonary health, cognitive function, typical daily physical activity and glucose metabolism in the brain, which are considered indicators of neuronal health.

From there, half of the subjects were given information on how to live a more active lifestyle, but then used their own devices. The other half of the team was mentored by a personal trainer and received a treadmill training program called “medium intensity”, which is conducted twice a week for a total of 26 weeks.

Not surprisingly, once the training program is over, active people show better heart health and reduce sedentary lifestyles. But on top of that, they scored higher on cognitive tests that performed function, which is the brain’s ability to plan, pay attention, remember commands, and perform multiple tasks. It is known that the function of performing during the onset of Alzheimer’s disease will deteriorate.

Lead researcher Ozioma C. Okonkwo explained: “This study is an important step in developing a prescription for exercise that protects the brain from Alzheimer’s disease even in previously sedentary people. “In addition to improving executive function, brain scans also found some significant differences in glucose metabolism in the brain in the epidermis, which was again associated with Alzheimer’s disease.”

“This study shows that regular aerobic exercise is a way of life that potentially enhances brain and cognitive function that is particularly sensitive to the disease,” Okonkwo said. These findings are particularly relevant to individuals at higher risk due to family history or genetic susceptibility. “Because of the small sample size, researchers are now working on a larger study, which will involve more subjects.

The study was published in the journal Brain Plasticity.