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The Benefits of Exercise and Metabolic Interventions for the Prevention and Early Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

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Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by neuronal degeneration, vascular pathology and cognitive decline. Furthermore, deficits in cerebral glucose metabolism and insulin resistance are being increasingly recognized in AD. Many lifestyle-modifying approaches, including diet and exercise, have yielded promising results in modulating brain morphology and function for the prevention and early treatment of AD.

Objective: This review focuses on the effects of physical exercise on rescuing cognition and limiting the progression of AD pathology. Specifically, the impact of exercise, in human and animal models of AD, on the stimulation and preservation of cognition, neurotransmission, neurogenesis, vasculature, glucose metabolism and insulin signaling is discussed.

Conclusion: Studies have highlighted the potential of physical activity to improve overall brain health, which could delay or lessen AD-related cognitive deficits and pathology. Physical activity influences cognitive function, vascular health and brain metabolism, which taken together offers benefits for the aging population, including AD patients.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; insulin; metabolism; neurogenesis; physical activity; plasticity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Current Alzheimer Research publishes peer-reviewed frontier review and research articles on all areas of Alzheimer's disease. This multidisciplinary journal will help in understanding the neurobiology, genetics, pathogenesis, and treatment strategies of Alzheimer's disease. The journal publishes objective reviews written by experts and leaders actively engaged in research using cellular, molecular, and animal models. The journal also covers original articles on recent research in fast emerging areas of molecular diagnostics, brain imaging, drug development and discovery, and clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease. Manuscripts are encouraged that relate to the synergistic mechanism of Alzheimer's disease with other dementia and neurodegenerative disorders. Book reviews, meeting reports and letters-to-the-editor are also published. The journal is essential reading for researchers, educators and physicians with interest in age-related dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Current Alzheimer Research provides a comprehensive 'bird's-eye view' of the current state of Alzheimer's research for neuroscientists, clinicians, health science planners, granting, caregivers and families of this devastating disease.
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