Effect of exercise on Alzheimer’s patients – Harvard Medical School explains how
Effect of exercise on Alzheimer’s patients – Harvard Medical School explains how  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- A recent study sheds light on the benefits of exercise for patients with Alzheimer’s
- Alzheimer’s is neurodegenerative disease that affects people over the age of 60
- Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, that is, it worsens over time
Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the brain. It is considered a dangerous condition as it has the ability to destroy cognitive function drastically. What makes it particularly scary is the fact that there is no cure available for Alzheimer’s and the symptoms of this condition do not appear until it is too late. According to a recent study published in the journal Nature Metabolism titled “Exercise hormone irisin is a critical regulator of cognitive function”, exercise can benefit cognitive health associated with its decline due to Alzheimer’s disease.
Hear it from the author
Christiane Wrann, an HMS assistant professor of medicine and leader of the Program in Neuroprotection in Exercise at Mass General and the senior author of the study said, “For the first time, we showed that soluble irisin, and not its full-length parent protein FNDC5, is sufficient to confer the benefits of exercise on cognitive function.”
“These effects can possibly go well beyond what exercise itself can bring. This is particularly important in as much as irisin, a small natural peptide, would be much easier to develop into a therapeutic than the much larger membrane-bound protein FNDC5,”, he added.
To understand this better, let us know what irisin is. Not discovered long ago, irisin emerged as a popular metabolic biomarker that is released by the muscles after stimulation through exercise. The benefits of this hormone pertain to thermoregulation and weight loss.
Key findings of the study
The key findings of the study are as follows:
- Exercising can lead to the secretion of irisin and it can prove to be beneficial for approaching brain issues that are a consequence of Alzheimer’s disease.
- The increase in the level of irisin can lead to enhanced cognitive function.
- Neuroinflammation is one of the factors that affects and damages brain neurons. The study shows that irisin can also be helpful in dealing with neuroinflammation.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.