Engaging in regular physical activities can help weight management and strengthen our bones and muscles. In addition, it can help us stay healthy and free from diseases like cardiometabolic disorders, diabetes, and hypertension. A recent study has reported when older adults stay active, their brain releases more of a class of proteins that lead to better cognition.
Our brain helps us respond to external signals by accepting and transferring the signs through our brain cells.
The brain cells communicate at a specialized junction called the synapse.
They are tiny gaps between the preceding brain cell that sends the information and the succeeding cell that receives it.
Moving your body and indulging in regular physical activities is good for our physique and our brain.
In addition, physical activity can boost our cognition - the ability to think, respond, and solve problems.
Exercises can also help us reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
Research suggests that inactive adults have twice the risk of cognitive decline than active adults.
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults need to perform at least two types of physical activity every week to maintain their physical and mental health.
Exercise And Brain - The Study
The researchers at the Weill Institute for Neurosciences and the University of British Columbia reported that exercise improves brain aging in older adults.
The study is the first to use human data to show that physical activity is linked to synaptic proteins and better cognition.
Synapses are connection points between brain cells that help maintain cognition. They are composed of proteins that facilitate the transmission of information.
The researchers obtained the data from the Memory and Aging Project at Rush University in Chicago and tracked the physical activity of the elderly participants during their senescence.
The participants have also agreed to contribute their brains after they die.
The Findings Of The Study
- Active elderly participants had higher levels of proteins involved in exchanging the information between the brain cells
- The effect also extended to affect the brain regions coupled to cognition.
The findings were coherent with previous findings that people who had more of these proteins when they died had better cognition in their late life.
Exercise and body movements support and stimulate the normal functioning of proteins, resulting in transmitting signals throughout the brain.
It is believed that amyloids and tau (proteins involved in Alzheimer's) disintegrate the brain cells.
However, research suggests that synaptic integrity (a measure of healthy neuronal transmission) measured in the brain tissues of autopsied adults weakens the relationship between Alzheimer's proteins, leading to brain degeneration.
Elderly adults with higher levels of proteins associated with synaptic integrity have a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Thus, sustaining healthy synaptic integrity can protect our brain from neurodegenerative diseases, which can be maintained by performing physical activities and exercises.
- Physical activity isn’t just vital for our physical health but is essential to support our mental health.
- In older adults, regular physical activity slows down aging-associated cognitive decline.
- A recent study has reported that older adults who stayed more active had higher levels of proteins that improve the connections between neurons to maintain healthy cognition.