Exercise may prevent Alzheimer’s by promoting iron storage in the brain, the latest study shows. It suggests that physical activity may stave off Alzheimer’s by improving the regulation of iron metabolism in the brain.
Lack of physical activity is linked to a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
However, regular physical activity promotes health benefits including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, various mental health conditions, and dementia. Exercise also helps maintain the brain’s flexibility and improve memory.
Now scientists have now discovered that exercise may delay the progress of Alzheimer’s by regulating iron levels in the brain.
The latest study was conducted by researchers at The University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio led, appears in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia that affects a person’s memory, thinking, and social abilities.
In 2020, Alzheimer’s affected up to 5.8 million people in the United States.
In the new research, exercise reduces the levels of the proteins ferritin and hepcidin, which promote iron metabolism in the cortex of the brain.
“This study highlights the importance of iron dysregulation in Alzheimer’s and demonstrates that long-term voluntary running exercise modulates iron homeostasis in the brain and skeletal muscles of both wild type mice and mice with Alzheimer’s. Our study is the first to link brain alterations of iron homeostasis with decreases in hepcidin and IL-6 in response to regular physical exercise,” the researchers conclude.