Can exercise Slow Down Alzheimer's? - Dream Health

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Tuesday 1 October 2019

Can exercise Slow Down Alzheimer's?

Can exercise Slow Down Alzheimer's?

Alzheimer’s – Death of Brain Cells

Neurological ailment Alzheimer’sis the outcome of death of brain cells resulting in remembrance loss and mental decline. It is one kind of dementia and around 60 to 80 % of the cases of this ailment are found in United States. Being a neurodegenerative sickness the symptoms in the initial stage seems to be mild though they tend to get severe with the passage of time. At first an Alzheimer’s patient experiences a slow decline in cognitive function and activities in comparison to their earlier state of life. This may affect their ability to perform at work or their normal activities. Some of the symptoms seen in Alzheimer’spatientis the lack of ability to retain and remember some information leading to:

  • Repetitive queries or dialogues
  • Forgetting personal stuffs
  • Fail to recall events or appointments
  • Getting mislaid on familiar route

Connection Between Exercise & Dementia


If the situation tends to get worse, a check-up with the doctor is essential and immediate medical attention should be administered to the patient. A new study, a year randomized control trial has been initiated by Prof. Rong Zhang who had published its discovery in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Proof of the theory indicates that exercising 4 to 5 times a week could delay the progress of Alzheimer’s sickness in individuals who tend to have toxic amount of beta-amyloid protein.

Prof. Zhang is linked with departments of neurology, neurotherapeutics and internal medicine at the University of Texas South-western Medical Centre in Dallas. Along with his team they put in efforts in researching the connection between exercise and dementia. Medical News Today reported their findings on one such study stating that aerobic exercise tend to retain brain health of individuals having mild reasoning deficiency.

Consistent Exercise – Retaining White Matter


As per the research it was discovered that consistent exercise helps in retaining the white matter of the brain that tends to comprise of billions of nerve fibres and is connected with improved decision-making function which is related to the ability of planning, organizing and completion of task by the brain. The latest study has been examined on 70 adults in the age group of 55 and above, to get some insight on the results of the exercise.

This research has been conducted on those who had amnestic slight cognitive impairment which is quite popular type of mild cognitive impairment, particularly affecting the memory. The brains of those selected had beta-amyloid build-up; a type of a protein which is an indicator of Alzheimer’s when it forms up to a level of toxic. Prof Zhang asked verbally, considering the impetus for the latest study stating, “What are you supposed to do if you have amyloid clumping together in the brain? Right now doctors can’t prescribe anything”.

Similar Level of Cognitive Ability

He along with his colleagues observed the results of the progress of aerobic exercise on memory executive function, cortical levels of beta amyloid from reasonable to high intensity program. Moreover they also scrutinized the overall brain volume together with the brain volume of the hippocampus as subordinate results. The hippocampus is mainlyrelated to learning and memory and this area get affected often in the case of Alzheimer’s. The researchers had the participants segregated in two groups with one connected with aerobic training and the other involved in stretching and toning control actions. Towards the end of the trail, both the groups seemed to have alike levels of cognitive ability especially with regards to solving problems and memory.

Brain Imaging – Exceptional Benefits 

With brain imaging, exceptional benefits were observed for those who already had accumulations of beta-amyloid and had the practice of exercising often. Moreover the size of the hippocampus had reduced a lot in size in comparison to those who had not attempted to exercise at all. Prof. Zhang commented “It’s interesting that the brains of participants with amyloid responded more to aerobic exercise than the others”.

He further added that “although the interventions did not stop the hippocampus from getting smaller, even slowing down the rate of atrophy through exercise could be an exciting revelation”. He stated that “understanding the molecular basis for Alzheimer’sdisease is important, but the burning question in my field is `Can we translate our growing knowledge of molecular biology into an effective treatment?’ We need to keep looking for answers”.

Physically Energetic – Lesser Risk of Alzheimer’s 

Prof. Zhang is presently is handling a national clinical trial which would further explore the connection between dementia and exercise. The trial would be conducted for five years with focuson whether aerobic exercise training together with medication taken in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol would be helpful in cognition and keeping the brain volume unharmed.

There are several benefits on exercising which includes lessening the cardiovascular ailments, strengthening the muscles and bones and also helpful in decreasing stress. Regular exercises also tend to help the brain. Research shows that those who tend to be physically energetic do not face the likelihood of a decline in their mental level and have a lesser risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s ailment.

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