A study with the participation of two Brazilians, Sergio Ferreira and Fernanda de Felice, both from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), revealed that physical exercise improves memory performance and avoids Alzheimer’s complications.
According to the research , published in the journal Nature Medicine , the hormone irisin, produced by muscles during exercise, triggers a positive effect on the brain.
The study, which also involved scientists from other countries, started 7 years ago and was divided into stages.
First, the levels of irisin in the blood and brain fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) of four different groups of people were analyzed: healthy, with moderate loss of memory, with Alzheimer’s and with another type of neurodegenerative disease.
The result indicated that the amount of the hormone fell by half in the brain region of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In the blood, the levels remained the same among all groups.
Then, tests were performed on mice that proved that the nerve impulses linked to performance and memory formation are compromised when there is little irisin in the body.
Some other important functions of it are to transmit the chemical messages of the physical activity for our body, and for being produced in the organism, the hormone can be used in medicines, possibly not having side effects to the health.
The recent discovery could be a parameter for new therapeutic treatments for Alzheimer’s. But more knowledge is still needed on how irisin kicks in and interacts with the brain.
Alzheimer’s is marked by loss of memory and planning ability.
Physical exercise improves cognitive functions and slows the progression of neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore, it is essential in the prevention of diseases related to the central nervous system.