In a recent Journal of Biological Chemistry “Paper of the Week,” research led by Ayae Kinoshita at the Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan reveals the benefits of exercise in combating Alzheimer’s disease.
The most common cause of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease results in the loss of cognitive faculty. In the majority of cases, Alzheimer’s disease occurs after age 65, and factors such as diet and exercise appear to play a role in its development, with high-fat diets as a risk factor.
Kinoshita’s research compared the effects of 1) diet control, 2) voluntary exercise and 3) diet control plus exercise in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. The results showed that exercise was more beneficial than diet control in reducing ?-amyloid formation (a defining characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease) and restoring memory loss induced by a high-fat diet in these mice. Moreover, Kinoshita’s team found that the effect of diet control plus exercise was not significantly different than exercise alone. They attribute the positive effects of exercise to increased degradation of ?-amyloid deposits in the brain.