The Secret Behind How Exercise Fights Alzheimer's

Elderly Man

Alzheimer's disease -- a chronic form of dementia, which results in severe memory loss and eventually death -- is a progressive disorder for which there are minimal therapeutics that affect the underlying disease mechanism.

However, epidemiological studies have suggested lifestyle changes may slow down the onset and progression of Alzheimer's ... specifically, regular exercise.

According to researchers, a regular exercise program can slow the development of Alzheimer's by altering the way damaging proteins reside in the brain. Studies on mice helped support a growing body of evidence that keeping busy (both physically and mentally), as well as eating certain foods, can delay or prevent Alzheimer's.

The Study

Scientists analyzed the effect of excess clogging due to plaque buildup in the brain -- the signature physical sign of Alzheimer's -- after three months on genetically engineered mice. Half the mice were put in cages with running wheels, while the other half were cooped up with no outlet or exercise wheels.

Researchers observed:

  • Mice allowed to exercise learned to navigate a water maze faster than mice that were kept cooped up.

  • Significantly fewer plaques and fewer bits of beta-amyloid peptides, associated with Alzheimer's, were found in mice that exercised.

Findings suggest a simple behavioral strategy such as exercise, dancing or even walking can trigger a change (as seen in the mice) in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized, thus, slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer's.

Journal of Neuroscience April 27, 2005;25:4217-4221

Reuters April 27, 2005

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

We have long known the beneficial effects of exercise on the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. However, before the above study was published, little was known about exactly how exercise did the trick.

Alzheimer's can be an absolutely devastating disease, and its incidence is increasing rapidly.

If something so simple as exercise can have such an astoundingly positive effect in regard to its prevention, imagine how much protection from Alzheimer's there is to be gained by partaking in the myriad of additional options that are available.

For starters, of course, it will be most beneficial if you develop (or maintain) a regular exercise program. There are a number of excellent resources out there for exercise; you can review mine or search online or in your book store for further resources.

If you're looking for more detailed instruction on exercise, I urge you to review some of the latest columns written by Paul Chek and Dr. Ben Lerner.

Additionally, you can consider the following guidelines to protect your body (and reduce your risk) from the ravages of Alzheimer's without taking a drug:

  • Follow the Total Health Program, paying special attention to avoiding sugar.

  • Eat plenty of high-quality omega-3 fish and krill oil.

  • Reduce your intake of most fish and remove as many sources of mercury from your life as possible.

  • Reduce your exposure to aluminum found in products such as antiperspirants, cookware, etc.

  • Eat plenty of vegetables.

  • Do your best to steer clear of flu shots.

  • Try Wild Blueberry IQ an all-natural, whole fruit softgel made from wild blueberries, which have high anthocyanin and antioxidant content that are known to guard against Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases.

  • Eat a nutritious diet based on your body's unique nutritional type.

  • Keep your mind active.

  • Since worry accelerates your risk of Alzheimer's, learn an effective energy psychology tool like Emotional Freedom Technique.

Gary Craig's Comment:

For those with loved ones who have already developed Alzheimer's, you might wish to apply EFT to memory problems. We have several reports of specific memories coming back and, in one impressive case, a lady patient suddenly recognized her husband. This made an important difference in the quality of life for both the patient and her husband.

Gary Craig

Gary Craig is a pioneering developer of EFT, a profoundly effective emotional/mental healing approach. I learned it from Gary and have taught it to patients in my clinic for years, and they have experienced truly incredible and permanent results with it.

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