Aerobic Exercise May Reduce Brain Degeneration in Adults with Alzheimer’s Disease

Robust evidence from animal models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) maintains that aerobic exercise is a modifying treatment for AD.

Human research, however, is limited with inconsistent findings.

The present study demonstrates that aerobic exercise reduces the progression of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) and may reduce degeneration of the hippocampus in older adults with AD.

The longitudinal progression of white matter hyperintensities (WMH) has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease pathology, cognitive decline, ageing as well as diabetes and hypertension.  

Aerobic exercise (cycling) has been found to alleviate WMH progression in adults with AD dementia. Significant within- and between-group differences over both 6 and 12 months were reported, with the cycling cohort demonstrating considerably fewer increases (~50%) of WMH volume than the stretching cohort.

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