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Aerobic Exercise May Benefit Cognitive Function in Mature Adults

According to a recent study, aerobic exercise may have a beneficial effect on brain function in people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

Twenty-three adults with an average age of 64.9 and familial or genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease participated in the study. Half of them were assigned to a supervised, moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic exercise training program 3 times per week for 26 weeks. The other half were told to engage in their usual physical activity.

Participants were given a cognitive test battery to assess global cognitive function, verbal memory, recall, and executive function. Blood samples were analyzed to evaluate levels of biomarkers that measure exercise effects on brain function.

Participants in the supervised exercise program saw increases in a biomarker associated with learning and memory, compared to no changes in the other group. The supervised exercise program group also saw improvements in their verbal learning scores.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Wisconsin and Seoul National University. It was published online ahead of print on May 20, 2021 in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology.

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