Aerobic Exercise May Reverse Aging Effects Related to Alzheimer’s Disease

Aerobic Exercise May Reverse Aging Effects Related to Alzheimer’s Disease
Results from a recent study presented at the 8th International Conference on Clinical Trials for Alzheimer's Disease (CTAD) revealed that aerobic exercise improves brain function and reduces neurodegeneration markers in older adults at risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Study results also indicate that aerobic exercise may be a potential disease-modifying intervention for people in the earliest stages of AD, according to lead researcher Laura Baker, PhD, a cognitive neuroscientist at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Researchers assessed beta amyloid and tau protein levels, two proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), as evidence has shown that in neurodegenerative processes such as those occurring in AD, there is an increase in tau CSF levels and a decline in beta amyloid levels, as the latter is deposited as plaques in the brain. The practice of aerobic exercise appears to reverse this process, especially in older adults who present higher levels of cognitive impairment. “We don’t know yet if we are reversing the process, protecting the brain, or just buying some time,” Dr. Baker said in a press release. The team enrolled adults age 55 to 89 who had mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and prediabetes to explore the effects of aerobic exercise in the brain. Participants were randomized into a structured exercise program comprising either moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise or stretching exercises for 45-60 minutes. All participants completed the exercise routine four times per week for a period of six months. At baseline and at the end of the intervention, all participants had their
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