Alzheimer's

The right exercise to generate new brains cells in Alzheimer's patients

neuron cells.jpg

In a recent study1, researchers found that exercise generates new brain cells in mice who have Alzheimer’s.  A quote:

“Beneficial effects on cognition can be blocked by the hostile inflammatory environment present in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease and that physical exercise can "clean up" the environment, allowing new nerve cells to survive and thrive and improving cognition in the Alzheimer's mice. In our study we showed that exercise is one of the best ways to turn on neurogenesis.”

The researchers sought to achieve the same results produced by exercise using drug and gene therapy.  This was met with limited success.  Comparing the two approaches they found: 

“We found the key difference was that exercise also turned on the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF -- known to be important for the growth and survival of neurons -- which created a more hospitable brain environment for the new neurons to survive."

Another quote: 

"It is not enough just to turn on the birth of new nerve cells, you must simultaneously 'clean up' the neighborhood in which they are being born to make sure the new cells survive and thrive. Exercise can achieve that."

The takeaway: Exercise results in neurogenesis (new neuron cells), and more BDNF creates a hospitable environment for those new cells to survive.  So what type of exercise produces the most of both? According to one study2 comparing continuous exercise versus high intensity training (HIT):

“The HIT protocol might represent an effective and preferred intervention for elevating BDNF levels and potentially promoting brain health.”

HIT is what we do at our Austin Strength Training facility. Our trainers have experience working with people of all ages and fitness levels. You can wait for effective drug and gene therapies to be developed to combat cognitive decline, or you can combat cognitive decline before it is too late.

1 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180906141623.htm

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26472862

The link between diabetes and Alzheimer's

From this article, Researchers find stronger links between diabetes and Alzheimer's comes this quote:

“Their study, using mice, found that elevated glucose in the blood – a primary consequence of diabetes -- can rapidly increase levels of amyloid beta, which shows up in brain plaques in Alzheimer’s patients. The buildup of these plaques is believed to be what brings on the memory loss that Alzheimer’s causes in the brain.”

And this:

“If the mice did not have the amyloid plaques in the brains, doubling their blood glucose levels increased amyloid beta levels in the brain by 20%. When the scientists repeated the experiment in older mice that already had developed brain plaques, amyloid beta levels rose by 40%”

Now is the time to cut back on sugar and engage in exercise that lowers blood sugar effectively.  This New Your times article, Why Your Workout Should Be High-Intensity, makes the case that High Intensity Training is effective:

A quote:

“They are showing that high-intensity exercise may be even better than regular aerobic activities for many patients with conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, pulmonary disease, arthritis and Parkinson’s disease.”

And this:

“Researchers have found that repeatedly pushing the body close to its exercise limits for very brief periods, interspersed with periods of rest, is more effective than continuous moderate activity at improving cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic and mechanical functions.”

This is precisely what we do at Austin Fitness Training and at New Orleans Fitness Training and we can help you with that.