Forbes – Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital believe they’ve discovered the hormonal link that allows exercise to reduce Alzheimer’s disease risk—the last affirmation that the best known way to combat the disease is by staying active.
In a study published Friday in the journal Neuron, the researchers found that the hormone irisin, which circulates through the body during exercise, can help reduce deposits of a protein fragment called amyloid beta in a patient’s brain cells.
These amyloid beta deposits create a plaque within the brain that scientists believe causes the hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
To discover this link, the researchers applied irisin to a 3D human cell culture model of Alzheimer’s they created, according to the study.
In doing this, they discovered that the irisin led to increased activity of an enzyme called neprilysin, which in turn led to “a remarkable reduction” in plaque and amyloid beta deposits.
The scientific community has long known that physical exercise can reduce amyloid beta deposits in Alzheimer’s disease, but the mechanisms involved have previously been unknown.
Several studies that have followed people for years and decades of their lives have found that the most physically active participants were the least likely to develop Alzheimer’s later in life … read more.