To Your Health
September, 2023 (Vol. 17, Issue 09)
The Anti-AD Hormone?
By Editorial Staff
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia affecting older adults. Challenges with memory, thinking and behavior are consequences of the disease. Researchers have discovered that a hormone produced during exercise may help combat AD on a cellular level. Here's what they've found.
Exercise appears to increase circulating levels of a muscle-derived hormone called irisin. This is significant in that irisin appears to be present at lower levels in Alzheimer disease patients compared to non-AD patients. In the current study, published in Neuron, researchers discovered that when applying irisin to a 3D cell culture model of Alzheimer's disease, it led to reductions in amyloid beta pathology (amyloid beta deposits are one of the hallmark features of AD).
This study may illuminate the biochemistry behind exercise's value when it comes to AD, but it's not the first study to suggest the benefits of exercise. According to the Alzheimer's Society, "Combining the results of 11 studies shows that regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk of developing dementia by about 30 percent. For Alzheimer's disease specifically, the risk was reduced by 45 percent."
To learn more about Alzheimer's disease and specifically how exercise can reduce your risk of cognitive decline with age, visit https://www.alz.org/news/2020/a-mental-workout.