Exercise has robust benefits for those with cognitive impairment, but the underlying reasons are not entirely known. In a new study, researchers showed that mice that carried three different human genes responsible for Alzheimer’s disease improved their cognitive performance after 12 weeks of treadmill exercise. This improvement was accompanied by several markers of brain health, including:
- a decrease in the level of sticky proteins, called plaques, that contribute to the disease
- better function of cell powerhouses called mitochondria
- reduced levels of inflammation
- increased production of new neurons in the hippocampus, where memories are formed.
Kim D, et al. Protective effect of exercise training against the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in 3xTg-AD mice. Behav Brain Res. 2019;374:112105. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2019.112105.