Physical Exercise and Genetic Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

It has been well established that certain genes confer a higher risk for, but not a certain correlation with, Alzheimer's disease. It has also been well established that physical activity confers many health benefits including better flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain and higher cognitive function.

Now, a study from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, has looked at the benefits of physical exercise on those subjects with a specific, genetic, predisposition to Alzheimer's. As we would have hoped, the benefits of the physical activity seem to translate to this "at-risk" group as well.

The full publication on this study has not yet been released but the methodology was straight forward. Reearch subjects were separated into a "physically active" group and a "sedentary" group and brain activity was measured with functional MRI. According to the pre-publication press, there was no difference in brain activity in the hippocampul region (where short-term memory is processed) between those with a genetic risk for Alzheimer's and those without it.

This suggests that, even for those with a genetic predisposition to the disease, physical activity might be beneficial in delaying the onset or slowing the progression of Alzheimer's, just as it is for the rest of the population with a more favorable genetic profile.
A better understanding and more awareness of Alzheimer's related issues can impact personal health decisions and generate significant impact across a population of aging individuals. Please use the share buttons below to spread this educational message as widely as possible.

No comments :

Post a Comment