Summary of “How Exercise Might “Clean” the Alzheimer’s Brain”

New research shows that physical exercise can “Clean up” the hostile environments in the brains of Alzheimer’s mice, allowing new nerve cells in the hippocampus, the brain structure involved in memory and learning, to enable cognitive improvements, such as learning and memory.
These findings imply that pharmacological agents that enrich the hippocampal environment to boost cell growth and survival might be effective to recuperate brain health and function in human Alzheimer’s disease patients.
The brain of an individual with Alzheimer’s disease is a harsh place filled with buildups of harmful nerve cell junk-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles-and dramatic loss of nerve cells and connections that occur with severe cognitive decline, such as memory loss.
At the same time, there have been traces of evidence for exercise playing a preventative role in Alzheimer’s disease, but exactly how this occurs and how to take advantage of it therapeutically has remained elusive.
Explored whether exercise-induced effects and hippocampal nerve cell growth could be utilized for therapeutic purposes in Alzheimer’s disease to restore brain function.
The researchers found that exercised animals from a mouse model of Alzheimer’s had greatly enhanced memory compared to sedentary ones due to improved adult hippocampal neurogenesis and a rise in amounts of a specific molecule that promotes brain cell growth called BDNF. Importantly, they could recover brain function, specifically memory, in mice with Alzheimer’s disease but without exercise by increasing hippocampal cell growth and BDNF levels using a combination of genetic-injecting a virus-and pharmacological means.
On the contrary, we may be looking at a new and improved fundamental theory for Alzheimer’s disease based on promoting a healthier brain environment and adult hippocampal neurogenesis.
Before translating these findings into human patients, there remains significant research to establish that a medication or drug could mimic the effects of exercise-exercise mimetics-by “Cleaning up” the brain with BDNF and stimulating neurogenesis to combat Alzheimer’s disease.

The orginal article.