Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Importance of exercise for those at special risk for Alzheimer's

Date:
November 19, 2010
Source:
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Summary:
In a study that included healthy 65- to 85-years-old who carried a high-risk gene for Alzheimer's disease, those who exercised showed greater brain activity in memory-related regions than those who were sedentary. The results suggest that physical activity promotes changes in the brain that may protect high-risk individuals against cognitive decline.

In a study that included healthy 65- to 85-years-old who carried a high-risk gene for Alzheimer's disease, those who exercised showed greater brain activity in memory-related regions than those who were sedentary. The results suggest that physical activity promotes changes in the brain that may protect high-risk individuals against cognitive decline.

Physical activity promotes changes in the brain that may protect high-risk individuals against cognitive decline, including development of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study done at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).

J. Carson Smith, an assistant professor of health sciences, included in the study both people who carry a high-risk gene for Alzheimer's disease, and other healthy older adults without the gene.

"Our study suggests that if you are at genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease, the benefits of exercise to your brain function might be even greater than for those who do not have that genetic risk," says Smith.

While evidence already shows that physical activity is associated with maintenance of cognitive function across a life span, most of this research has been done with healthy people, without any consideration of their level of risk for Alzheimer's, says Smith.

A team of researchers compared brain activation during memory processing in four separate groups of healthy 65- to 85-years-olds. The level of risk was defined by whether an individual carried the apolipoprotein E-epsilon4 (APOE-ϵ4) allele. Physical activity status was defined by how much and how often the participants reported physical activity (PA). The study divided subjects into Low Risk/Low PA, Low Risk/High PA, High Risk/Low PA and High Risk/High PA.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to measure brain activation of participants while they performed a mental task involving discriminating among famous people. This test is very useful, says Smith, because it engages a wide network called the semantic memory system, with activation occurring in 15 different functional regions of the brain.

"When a person thinks about people -- for example, Frank Sinatra or Lady Gaga -- that involves several lobes of the brain," explains Smith.

In the study groups of those carrying the gene, individuals who exercised showed greater brain activity in memory-related regions than those who were sedentary.

Perhaps even more intriguing, physically active people with the gene had greater brain activity than those who were physically active but not gene carriers.

There are many physiological reasons why this could be happening, Smith says. "For example, people with this increased activation might be compensating for some underlying neurological event that is involved in cognitive decline.." "Using more areas of their brain may serve as a protective function, even in the face of disease processes."

The study's collaborating institutions include the Cleveland Clinic, Marquette University, Wayne State University and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging.

The study will be published in the journal NeuroImage.

Smith's current research builds on this study. He and his team are conducting a new study testing the before-and-after effects of a structured exercise program on brain function. The study includes patients diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer's disease, as well as a healthy control group.

For more information on this ongoing study, visit http://www.exerciseforbrainhealth.com/.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Carson Smith, Kristy A. Nielson, John L. Woodard, Michael Seidenberg, Sally Durgerian, Piero Antuono, Alissa M. Butts, Nathan C. Hantke, Melissa A. Lancaster, Stephen M. Rao. Interactive effects of physical activity and APOE-ε4 on BOLD semantic memory activation in healthy elders. NeuroImage, 2011; 54 (1): 635 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.07.070

Cite This Page:

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. "Importance of exercise for those at special risk for Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101118161320.htm>.
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. (2010, November 19). Importance of exercise for those at special risk for Alzheimer's. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101118161320.htm
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. "Importance of exercise for those at special risk for Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101118161320.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins