Exercise May Stave Off Alzheimer’s By Regulating Iron Levels In The Brain

Exercise May Stave Off Alzheimer’s By Regulating Iron Levels In The Brain

Exercise may stave off Alzheimer’s by regulating iron levels in the brain

Written by James Kingsland on August 31, 2021 — Fact checked by Anna Guildford, Ph.D.
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New research in mice suggests that exercise may keep the brain healthy by improving iron metabolism. Jalapeno/Getty Images
Lack of physical activity is known to increase a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
A new study in mice suggests that exercise may protect against Alzheimer’s by improving the regulation of iron metabolism in the brain.
Regular exercise reduces circulating levels of a protein called interleukin-6 that promotes inflammation.
The protein may also change the way in which the brain stores iron.
Regular physical activity has a wide range of health benefits. These include a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, various mental health conditions, and dementia.

Keeping physically active helps maintain the brain’s flexibility and improve memory. It also minimizes the decline that can occur in nerve cell growth and connectivity as people age.

Previous research in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease showed that exercise might even reverse some of the cognitive impairments that characterize this form of dementia.

The same scientists have now discovered that exercise may delay the progress of Alzheimer’s by changing the way the brain stores iron.

The study, which researchers at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio led, appears in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.