Fight Alzheimer’s One Sweat at a Time
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, and its slow beginning often quickly escalates, causing a sense of helplessness in it sufferers and those whose families have a long history of the illness. But exercise is now being touted as a new way to beat back the symptoms.
One red flag that increases the likelihood of Alzheimer’s is a gene, or rather a variant of a gene, that has been associated with increased instances of the disease which, for one, shrinks the hippocampus in the brain.
Exercise helps brain activity. Scientists have proven this with brain imaging of people who exercise. Working out helps people with memory issues as they age. But the ability for exercise to mold the physical shape and size of the brain was controversial. But a new study highlighted in this article showed the surprising and striking effects regular exercise can have on maintaining the upkeep of certain crucial parts of your cerebrum.
Researchers took 100 adults and split them off into multiple groups. The two groups that were of the most interest were those who share this troublesome gene variant. One group were fairly inactive while the other group exercised multiple times a week. And after 18 months, the inactive group showed a hippocampus 3% smaller on average, while those who exercised seem to have completely maintained the size for that part of the brain.
This doesn’t mean that a few good runs are guaranteed to keep dementia away, but while further research is being conducted, it’s definitely compelling evidence that there is something beyond feeling helpless if you’re more susceptible to this disease.
And, as we all know, even if this turns out to do nothing to prevent Alzheimer’s, there are plenty of other reasons to be getting the heart rate up three times a week.