As more research on health and fitness comes to light, there are constantly new findings that open up opportunities for finding out more about health problems and how the public and health professionals can help combat them.
Now, a study has brought to light the potential that exercise can have for reducing the chance of developing Alzheimer’s. Over recent years, there have been studies based around hormones called “irisin”, which have previously shown to boost metabolism. Now, further studies have suggested that irisin can also play a monumental part in the growth of the brain’s “hippocampus”, which is the part of the brain which is related to memory and learning.
This is massively positive for Personal Trainers, as it is showing them that having involvement with Older Adult clients could, in fact, help to fight Alzheimer’s. It is also good news for GP’s and Personal Trainers with Exercise Referral qualifications and schemes, as GP’s are able to refer exercise to their patients with Alzheimer’s; knowing that it is going to be hugely beneficial to their condition.
Ottavio Arancio, a researcher at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons has said that the study has; “raised the possibility that irisin may help explain why physical activity improves memory and seems to play a protective role in brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.”
In the recent study, Arancio and his colleagues looked into the connection between Irisin and people with Alzheimer’s. From analysing brain tissue samples, they found that Irisin levels are reduced in people with Alzheimer’s disease. To find out more, they studied the brains of mice, to see whether Irisin had an impact on their memory and whether exercise had any further impact.
The researchers found this by setting the mice up with sessions of swimming; allowing them to further look into the link between exercise and Irisin levels. From carrying out the study, the researchers saw that when Irisin was ‘disabled’ in the mice’s hippocampus, there was a clear memory reduction. They found that the mice who swam nearly every day for close to five weeks showed to have no memory loss; whereas the mice who swam, but were given Irisin blocking drugs, in fact, saw a decrease in memory ability.
Although swimming was just used as a test exercise down to it being easy to carry out with mice, it also suggests that aqua-based exercise can have the same benefit in humans. With aqua-based exercise being a popular choice of workout among Older Adults, and more Personal Trainers choosing to add Aqua based qualifications to their CV’s, the chance to make an immediate impact is promising.
Down to the findings, the researchers have begun to look for pharmaceutical options that can mimic the increase in Irisin that exercise has. They are doing this down to the study suggesting that focusing on Irisin levels could bring new options for preventing or treating dementia. This would allow GP’s and health experts to prescribe exercise and irisin based drugs that are a lot less harmful than current medications.
Whilst the study is continued, Arancio has said; “In the meantime, I would certainly encourage everyone to exercise, to promote brain function and overall health.” This is no surprise, with the correlation between exercise and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s being very clear.
This study is massively positive for the fitness industry, as it shows Older Adults with Alzheimer’s that they can turn to fitness and Personal Training to help combat the disease. With more Personal Trainers pursuing Older Adult Fitness qualifications, it has never been easier for Older Adults to get the guidance and training they need when it comes to their fitness, and this is even more positive considering these recent findings.
With the studies showing positive signs for those with Alzheimer’s, there are also positives to take for those who are inactive but want to prevent developing Alzheimer’s, as there is now evidence that just a small amount of regular exercise can play a huge part in preventing Alzheimer’s. Overall, with the study bringing light to the link between exercise and memory-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s; there is now no excuse for Personal Trainers to not get involved with Training Older Adults.
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