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Alzheimer Patients can Slow Memory Loss Process by Regular Exercise

Update Date: Jan 25, 2013 04:54 AM EST

For people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, here's a breather. A recent study suggests that the rate of memory loss can be significantly lowered if the patient does physical exercise regularly.

The research was led by Dr. Marie-Christine Pardon in the School of Biomedical Sciences, funded by Research into Ageing (Age UK) and The University of Nottingham and was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and leads to death, as the disease is incurable. Forgetting things is the most common symptom of Alzheimer's, followed by mood swings, confusion, and issues with language that develops as the condition worsens.

The disease cannot be cured, nor can the progression of memory loss be stopped; however, the treatments can reduce the symptoms. It is also evident that both physical and mental exercises can reduce the chances of getting Alzheimer's and slow down the worsening process of the disease among those who are already suffering from it.

Researchers have found that the hormone CRF or corticotrophin-releasing factor, which is mostly produced in excess when a person is stressed or depressed, has a positive effect on the brain. When it is released in a normal amount it might protect the brain against the physical changes that Alzheimer's causes, i.e., loss of memory and degeneration of the brain. It was also found that the amount of CRF is significantly lower in patients suffering from Alzheimer's.

"This is the first time that researchers have been able to identify a brain process directly responsible for the beneficial effects of exercise in slowing down the progression of the early memory decline characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. Overall, this research provides further evidence that a healthy lifestyle involving exercise slows down the risk of Alzheimer's disease and opens avenues for the new interventions targeting the altered CRFR1 function associated with the early stages of the disease." Dr. Pardon was quoted as saying in Medicalxpress.

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