Thursday, March 1, 2012

Exercise/Alzheimer's Link

...when the scientists examined the results for people with the e4 gene variant. Most of those who carried the APOE-e4 gene displayed much larger accumulations of amyloid plaques than those without it.
Unless they exercised. The carriers of the gene who reported walking or jogging for at least 30 minutes five times a week had plaque accumulation similar to that of volunteers who were e4-negative. In essence, the APOE-e4 gene carriers mitigated their inherited risk for developing Alzheimer’s by working out. Or, as the study authors wrote, a “physically active lifestyle may allow e4 carriers to experience brain amyloid levels equivalent to e4-negative individuals.”

This explanation squares well with the carbohydrate hypothesis of disease.  In short, excess chronic intake of glucose leaves too much sugar in the blood stream at abnormally long durations, which creates more glycated proteins, and keeps insulin degrading enzymes busy with too much insulin.  When IDEs are not working on insulin, they help to scavenge the bits of material that become amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's patients. 

So the study shows a correlation between regular exercisers and reduced incidence of Alzheimer's in those with the genetic predisposition.  The walking is likely to either be the result of someone that does not eat too much carbohydrate, or if they do, they are disciplined about other health efforts (IE, eat too many carbs because the health authorities told them to do so, and they comply with a large number of elements of a healthy lifestyle).  Or, it could just be that the consistent walking helps to regulate blood glucose levels even in those that over-carb themselves.

If this article hits close to home, have a look, it is a good read.

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