A new study published in the journal Nature Medicine shows that a hormone released during exercise called irisin helps regrow brain cells and protect the brain from developing Alzheimer’s. Irisin production is reduced in Alzheimer’s patients.
The team studied the effects of irisin on mice. Results showed mice that swam almost every day for five weeks did not suffer memory impairment even though they were being infused with beta-amyloid.
According to Alzheimer’s Association, accumulation of beta-amyloid protein is one of the possible causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
However, mice who swam every day but had irisin blocked in their systems did not experience any improvements and did not perform better in memory tests than beta-amyloid-infused mice that had not exercised.
Researchers hope this new finding can help them develop a pharmaceutical form of irisin that could help elderly patients that have difficulties exercising prevent symptoms of dementia or treat Alzheimer’s.