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Exercise Keeps Alzheimer’s At Bay

Update Date: Oct 14, 2013 09:48 AM EDT

A rigorous and daily walk can be helpful in keeping Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s at bay, a new study has found.

A new study from The Archives of Neurology suggests that for some people a normal everyday jog or even walk could alter the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

For the experiment, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis considered total of 201 adults, ages 45 to 88. These were also the part of a continuing study at the university’s Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

Only few of the participants had the family history of Alzheimer’s. “They were, as far as we could determine, cognitively normal,” says Denise Head according to NY Times, an associate professor of psychology at Washington University who also led the study.

The participants of the study had not had their brains scanned. Therefore researchers began their experiment looking for signs of amyloid plaques. These are the deposits that are also the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. People with lot of plaque tend of have a memory loss.

In the next step, researchers genetically typed APOE, a gene which is also involved in cholesterol metabolism.

Fifty-six of the volunteers turned out to be APOE-e4. This meant that a family history of Alzheimer’s may suggest that someone is a carrier for the e4 variant.

Finally the researchers asked the participants of the study to fill out detailed questionnaires about their exercise habits during the past 10 years.

Once the study was conducted they found that the carriers of the gene who reported walking or jogging for at least 30 minutes five times a week had plaque accumulation similar to that of volunteers who were e4-negative.

“The good news is that we found that activity levels, which are potentially modifiable, could have an impact," said Dr. Head according to NY Times.

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