Exercise May Energize Brain Function

Researchers from the National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program and the John Hopkins University School of Medicine looked at neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and if exercise can help our brains not lose energy as we age.

An enzyme called SIRT3 that is located in the Mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, helps protect the brain in mice from losing energy. This enzyme was increased when mice ran on a treadmill. The question was, is it possible to help protect the brain from energy-depleting stress caused by neurotoxins and other factors? The researchers used animal models to test this.

According to the researchers, Mice models that did not produce SIRT3 became highly sensitive to stress when exposed to neurotoxins that cause neurodegeneration and epileptic seizures. Additionally, when the mice ran, it did increase the enzyme and protected them, but with those mice that didn’t have the enzyme, didn’t receive any protection from stress when running.

If these tests can translate to humans, then there may be a therapy to help those with age-related cognitive decline.


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