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New Study Discovered That Exercise May Sharpen and Return Your Memory

Benefits of New Hormone Released During Exercise

Alzheimers Disease is associated with poor hormone signaling and the degredation of synapses in the brain. Irisin is a hormone that gets released during exercise from the hippocampus in the brain and directly from the muscles used during the workout. This hormone in the most recent mouse study recovered their synapses and memory. This discovery is only the beginning of answering the big questions:

Does it for sure work in humans?

How much exercise is needed?

What types of exercise will do this?

How many days per week do I need to workout to get the benefit?

What Research Has Shown To Date

Researchers have found that making mice run will stimulate the hippocampus to release irisin and increase their memory formation and storage. In humans exercise has slowed the progression of Alzheimers or may have prevented people from getting it. Researchers wanted to confirm that humans have irisin in our brains and took brain samples from banks and discovered that we do. People that were free of Alzheimers had an abundance of irisin in their brains when they died. However, people that died from Alzheimers had very little irisin in their brains.

Research Interventions Implemented

Researchers weren’t sure what irisin did in the body so they bred a bunch of mice that were specifically going to develop Alzheimers and they injected the mice’s brains with a concentrated dose of irisin. Those mice all of a sudden started performing better on memory tests and showed improvements in synaptic function.

They also took a bunch of healthy mice that had good levels of irisin in their brains and put a chemical in their brain that blocks the function of irisin. They then gave the mice a protein that clumps together in their brain and develops plaques similar to Alzheimers patients and the mice actually developed Alzheimers.

They had healthy mice swim for one hour per day for five weeks and found that irisin hormone increased during the workout and after. They then injected the protein into their brains that would start to form the plaques to give those mice Alzheimers and the irisin hormone fought off the negative effects of the protein.

What Does This Mean For Humans?

The research findings unfortunately are in mice and we can’t extrapolate that data and methods to work for humans. However, since there was great results in a mouse study the researchers will begin to repeat this study in animal studies and then human studies to see if we can reap the same rewards. This will be a fun topic to follow over the next handful of years.

In the meantime there is now another theoretical benefit to train multiple times per week. Get off the couch and exercise in your home gym, go outside and move, or join a local fitness facility.

Life Strength Fitness is currently offering a free week to get you started and 50% off your first month membership. You can sign up for online training or come train at our facility in Hopkins, MN at lifestrengthfit.com. Come in and start training to make your mind sharper and improve your fitness.

References

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-018-0275-4