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Health Fusion: Does aerobic exercise help prevent Alzheimer's?

Is there anything you can do to cut your risk of Alzheimer's disease? In this episode of the NewsMD podcast, "Health Fusion," Viv Williams highlights research that gives more evidence to the idea that aerobic exercise may help the cognitive function of older adults.

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Part of what makes Alzheimer's disease so scary is that there's no knowing if you'll get it. And there are no absolute ways to prevent or stop it. But researchers have found three exercise biomarkers for evaluating the effect of lifestyle interventions -- in this case, aerobic exercise -- on brain function. You can think of a biomarker as a signal that something specific is happening the body. In this study, one biomarker is a substance secreted from muscle that is associated with memory. It's presence, then, is a good thing. And you can measure it.

The researchers from Florida Atlantic University's Schmidt College of Medicine and Brain Institute and the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and Department of Medicine say the presence of the three biomarkers they studied supports the idea that exercise training has beneficial effects on the brain. Their study included people at risk for Alzheimer's disease but who don't have symptoms. They say biomarkers that can measure the effects of exercise interventions could be used to help figure out how the disease might progress and perhaps help the development of new treatments.

This study is published in the journal, Frontiers in Endocrinology.

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Viv Williams

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