A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience last Monday (22) suggests that physical exercises are able to alter the activity of the brain’s immune cells, which reduces inflammation, and consequently protects from Alzheimer’s. To arrive at this discovery, researchers at Rush University (USA) analyzed the exercise routine and the brain post-mortem of 167 people.
According to the study — titled Rush Memory and Aging Project — microglia (a type of cell in the central nervous system that inspects brain tissue for damage or infection and removes debris or dead cells) may be inappropriately activated according to A person ages, causing brain inflammation, which is why brain function declines with age, and the situation is even more harmful in the case of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Research suggests that exercise can reduce microglial activation and improve cognitive function in the human brain.
Physical exercise protects from alzheimers
The researchers analyzed the brain tissue for evidence of activated microglia and signs of disease, such as harmful blood vessels or the presence of plaques containing the protein beta-amyloid (a common toxin in Alzheimer’s). They also focused on levels of synaptic proteins, as their levels indicate whether or not brain function is healthy.
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Participants were, on average, 86 years old at the start of the study, and about 90 years old when they died. Posthumous analysis revealed that 60% of the group had signs of Alzheimer’s in the brain. The study found that the more physically active the participants were, the better their motor function, even with signs of Alzheimer’s, suggesting that physical activity can reduce the harmful effects of inflammation on the brain even when the disease has begun to set in. to develop.
Many eyes are on Alzheimer’s lately, and companies have already begun testing a potential vaccine against the neurodegenerative condition. In July, the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference estimated that the number of Alzheimer’s cases worldwide would simply triple by 2050, giving rise to 152 million cases.