If you don’t want to be susceptible to Alzheimer’s as you get older, then take notice of a recent study by Alfredo Ramos-Miguel. He is a Ramón y Cajal researcher in the Department of Pharmacology at UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country.
For healthy brain development, you must be prepared to make various lifestyle changes ‘such as adopting a more balanced diet, boosting routine cognitive activities and, especially, devoting more time to physical exercise.’
Alfredo Ramos-Miguel latest research particularly focuses on why physical exercise is so beneficial for a healthy brain regardless of your age.
It is well known from other medical studies that our bodies and brains change as we age. A study carried out in 2019 called ‘Neuropathological lesions in the very old: results from a large Brazilian autopsy study’ showed that neuropathological lesions are more common in the very old.
Exercise protects the brain
As you age, you can expect that your brain is more prone to develop neuropathological lesions. A neuropathological lesion is a brain lesion. Brain lesions are abnormalities seen on a brain-imaging scan. On CT or MRI scans, ‘brain lesions appear as dark or light spots that don’t look like normal brain tissue.‘
Studies of neuropathological lesions are often used in trying to understand Alzheimer’s disease which is more common in the very old and responsible for cognitive impairment.
Alfredo Ramos-Miguel’s new study shows even at an advanced age physical exercise benefits health in one of two ways:
- promoting synaptogenesis processes
Synaptogenesis refers to synapse formation between neurons during early brain development. Synapses are part of the circuit that connects sensory organs, like those that detect pain or touch. Synaptogenesis plays a vital role in learning, memory formation, and adaptation early in life.
- increasing synaptic resilience against the harmful effects of neuropathological lesions
The study says exercise is good for increasing synaptic resilience against the harmful effects of neuropathological lesions
Don’t stop exercising
Study also advises people not to rest on their laurels, ‘participants with a high physical routine during early life and who discontinued this habit in the last two years of life had synaptic densities similar to those observed in more sedentary participants.’
Put simply, if you had a good physical exercise routine and give it up in later life, two years on, you will likely be at no better advantage than people who have had no good physical exercise routine habits.
Motivate the elderly to exercise more
Ramos-Miguel thinks public health systems should increase their efforts to ‘promote preventive and therapeutic strategies aimed at reducing sedentary lifestyles among the elderly‘.
This latest research by Alfredo Ramos-Miguel at UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country is a study that provides the biological evidence for preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to have a total healthcare cost of over $305 billion and is expected to increase to more than $1 trillion as the population ages.