The Importance Of Exercise In The Prevention Of Neurodegenerative Diseases27/11/2023, Dr David Della Morte Canosci, Palazzo Fiuggi
Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, represent an increasingly urgent global health challenge. Despite the efforts of ongoing research and clinical trials, there is currently no effective therapy for these pathologies. Neurodegenerative diseases are constantly increasing, largely due to the aging population and a sedentary lifestyle associated with poor eating habits. However, exercise could be a key element in the prevention and management of these diseases.
The benefits of exercise for brain health
Recent studies have suggested that exercise may also play a role in the prevention and management of neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, physical exercise could help slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease both directly and indirectly, even if practiced by older people. Physical activity is seen as an important modifiable behavioral factor for these conditions and is often promoted as part of health promotion initiatives.
Biochemical mechanisms of the effect of exercise on the brain
Scientists are still trying to understand the precise mechanisms through which exercise can affect the brain and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Some hypotheses suggest that exercise can activate biochemical mechanisms that protect nerve cells from death and reduce cognitive decline. It has been found that physical activity can reduce the excessive production of free radicals, which are molecules harmful to brain cells. Additionally, exercise can help reverse some of the risk factors associated with Alzheimer's disease, such as low testosterone levels. Conversely, a high-fat diet can activate and increase the expression of inflammatory factors that can cause cellular stress.
The importance of promoting physical activity
Despite the scientific evidence on the positive effect of physical exercise on the brain and on the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, it is important to underline that there are still many aspects to consider to translate these discoveries into clinical practice and daily life. Efforts to promote physical activity must be intensified both at the individual level and at the public policy level. Creating spaces and opportunities for physical activity, as well as educating and motivating people to exercise, are crucial elements for improving brain health and reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
Physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle
Exercise is not only important for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, but is part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity can help control body weight, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, improve mood and sleep quality, and promote overall well-being. Therefore, it is advisable to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, trying to dedicate at least 150 minutes a week to moderate intensity physical activity.
Types of physical activity recommended
You don't need to become a competitive athlete to get the benefits of exercise for your brain and the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. Even moderate activities such as a brisk walk, water aerobics, cycling on flat terrain, or a game of volleyball can help improve brain health. Likewise, more intense activities such as running, cycling, tennis and swimming can be just as effective. Additionally, muscle strength exercise, such as weight lifting or bodyweight exercises, can be helpful in maintaining muscle health and function.
Exercise represents an important strategy to prevent and manage neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Numerous research has shown that regular exercise can have positive effects on the brain and cognitive function, improving memory, attention and cognitive flexibility. Although further research is still needed to fully understand the biochemical mechanisms involved, physical activity is seen as an important modifiable behavioral factor for the prevention of these pathologies. Therefore, it is advisable to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, trying to dedicate at least 150 minutes a week to moderate intensity physical activity.
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|About The Author
Dr. David Della Morte Canosci is the lead doctor at Palazzo Fiuggi. An Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Dr. Della Morte Canosci is a specialist in the field of senescence, metabolic, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. His research focuses on clarifying the pathological pathways that link metabolic and cognitive diseases with the ageing process. He is currently studying the genetic factors that influence vascular ageing and cognition.