Exercise May Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

University of Wisconsin researchers recently uncovered further evidence to support the role of exercise in brain health. 93 cognitively healthy older adults with an average age of 64 participated in the study; all participants either had Alzheimer’s disease in their family history, carried the APOE ε4 gene, or both risk factors, putting them at a higher risk of developing the disease than the general population. Participants measured their physical activity levels for one week with an accelerometer and were divided into four groups: sedentary (control), light physical activity (LPA), moderate physical activity (MPA), and vigorous physical activity (VPA). Glucose metabolism was then measured through PET scans in various brain regions. 68 minutes of MPA per day improved glucose metabolism in all brain regions, compared to LPA (which showed no improvements) and VPA (which showed improvements above MPA only in the hippocampus). Lead researcher Ozioma Okonkwo explains the results: “light activity is insufficient, and vigorous activity might be unnecessary.” The team is looking into future studies to determine the causal effect of exercise on glucose metabolism. Okonkwo is encouraged by these results: even with a high genetic risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, “The evidence shows that it’s never too late to take up and maintain a physically active regimen,” he says. “It also suggests that the earlier you begin and the longer you continue it, the more benefits you tend to accrue.”

SOURCE: Time: http://time.com/4833348/exercise-genetic-risk-alzheimers-disease/

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: IOS Press: http://content.iospress.com/openurl?genre=article&id=doi:10.3233/JAD-161067

DATE RETRIEVED: June 29, 2017

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