Mouse studies link physical exercise to increased synapses

  • A mouse study has found that a hormone released during physical activity protects synapses in the hippocampus.
  • Another mouse study found that short bursts of exercise promotes an increase in synapses in the hippocampus.

How exercise may protect against Alzheimer's

Previous research uncovered a hormone called irisin that is released into the circulation during physical activity, and appeared to play a role in energy metabolism. Mice studies have now found that irisin protected memory and synapses in the brain — disabling irisin in the hippocampus resulted in synapses and memory weakening; boosting brain levels of irisin improved synapses and memory.

Mice who swam nearly every day for five weeks didn’t develop memory impairment despite getting infusions of beta amyloid — however, blocking irisin completely eliminated the benefits of swimming.

Samples from brain banks have confirmed that irisin is present in the human hippocampus and that hippocampal levels of the hormone are reduced in those with Alzheimer's.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-02/cuim-hem020819.php

Short bouts of exercise prime the brain for learning

A mouse study found that short-term bursts of exercise (equivalent to a game of pickup basketball, or 4,000 steps) activated a gene (Mtss1L) that promotes an increase in synapses in the hippocampus — which primes the brain for learning.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-07/ohs-sra070219.php

Reference: 

Lourenco, M. V., Frozza, R. L., de Freitas, G. B., Zhang, H., Kincheski, G. C., Ribeiro, F. C., … De Felice, F. G. (2019). Exercise-linked FNDC5/irisin rescues synaptic plasticity and memory defects in Alzheimer’s models. Nature Medicine, 25(1), 165–175. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-018-0275-4

Chatzi, C., Zhang, Y., Hendricks, W. D., Chen, Y., Schnell, E., Goodman, R. H., & Westbrook, G. L. (2019). Exercise-induced enhancement of synaptic function triggered by the inverse BAR protein, Mtss1L. ELife, 8, e45920. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.45920

Related News

A large longitudinal study, comparing physical activity at teenage, age 30, age 50, and late life against cognition of 9,344 women, has revealed that women who are physically active at any point have a lower risk of cognitive impairment in late-life compared to those who are inactive, but teenage

A theory that changes in fat metabolism in the membranes of nerve cells play a role in Alzheimer's has been supported in a recent study. The study found significantly higher levels of ceramide and cholesterol in the middle frontal gyrus of Alzheimer's patients.

Pages

Subscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest health newsSubscribe to Latest news