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Resistance to physical activity can prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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Sporadic Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease that is not directly caused by a single inherited gene mutation, is associated with aging. Brazilian researchers have shown that resistance training in mice can at least delay the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms.

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There is a link between regular physical exercise, such as resistance training, and good cognitive health. Brazilian researchers from the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) and the University of São Paulo (USP) suggested in a new study that this type of physical activity could not only be beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients, but also to prevent the disease or delay the onset of its symptoms. The results are published in Frontiers in neuroscience.

Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by symptoms such as loss of cognitive function and memory deficits. It is generally accepted that the buildup of amyloid-beta protein is the cause of the formation of extracellular plaques, which lead to increased inflammation and neuronal loss.

The researchers note that there is still no significant memory loss or cognitive impairment at this initial stage of the disease, hence the interest in acting at this time to prevent or delay its onset. However, an increase in cortisol levels can already be seen. In humans, the stress response hormone is considered to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Benefits of resistance exercises

According to research, physical exercise is associated with a lower risk of dementia during old age. Several studies have shown improvements in cognition in people with Alzheimer’s disease who engage in more or less vigorous physical activity. Therefore, strength training may be a preferred option for people whose dementia symptoms make it difficult to perform more complex physical activities.

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Resistance exercise involves the contraction of specific muscles against external resistance and is a key strategy for increasing muscle mass, strength and bone density, and for improving overall body composition, functional ability and balance. “, specific statement. When applied to cognitive decline, these exercises have a known anti-inflammatory effect.

Four weeks of training for mice

In the current study, Brazilian researchers attached different weights to healthy mice and transgenic mice with a mutation responsible for the buildup of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain. During four weeks of training, the rats climbed a ladder with their own weights attached, thus mimicking resistance exercises in humans. The result: Corticosterone levels (our home equivalent of cortisol) were equal to those in the “healthy” group, and analysis of brain tissue showed reduced formation of beta-amyloid plaques.

The findings indicate that resistance training plays a role in alleviating symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and emphasize the beneficial effects of this type of training as a complementary treatment for the disease. ‘, conclude the study authors.

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