Forget Finding the Cure - Remember to Exercise.

Khryss | Published 2017-08-28 16:11

How many Alzheimer's patients does it take to change a light bulb? To get to the other side.

Wait. That's not right, is it?

Warning: Alzheimer's jokes ahead. And rat experiments. Either way, this may offend you. Sorry.

A study has been found that physical exercise in one's earlier years is more essential than we ought it should be -- it is claimed to be "not just for development, but for the lifelong trajectory of cognitive development during ageing," as said by Martin Wojtowicz of the University of Toronto, Canada. He cites that in it may compensate for and delay the appearance of Alzheimer's symptoms in humans, even possibly to the extent of preventing them altogether.

Now that's not yet too much information, is it? I hope you remember all of this.

The experiment involved splitting 80 young male rats into two equal groups, placing running wheels in the cages of only one group for six weeks. When the rats had reached middle age, Wojtowicz's team taught all the rats about four months later, to associate an electric shock with being in a particular box. The rats froze with fear the moment they were placed in the box.

The results? The rats froze with fear the moment they were placed in the box.

I've said that, haven't I?

No longer than two weeks, the team tested the rats in three scenarios: 1) precisely the same box in the same room, 2) the same box with the room arranged and lit differently, and 3) an entirely different box in a different room.

Those without access to a running wheel in their cages when they were young were those who froze the same proportion of times in each of these conditions, leading the team to conclude that these rats weren't able to remember which one was hazardous.

However, the rats that had access -- the rats that were able to run in their youth -- froze 40 to 50 percent less in the varied box settings.

Arthur Kramer of Northeastern University in Boston, found that in humans, exercise stimulates the growth of new brain cells. He says that the results suggest the amount of physical exercise when individuals are young (at least for rodents... for now) has implications for brain and cognitive health -- in the form of better memories -- when we're older.

Although this was a study initiated as an experiment with rats, the fact remains that exercise at a young age can protect an individual against memory loss even decades later, and have lifelong benefits for the brain.

Wait. What was I talking about again? Oh, right.


Hey! Where are you going?? Subscribe!

Get weekly science updates in your inbox!