Just six minutes of high-intensity exercise a day can help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new scientific study.
What if short-term sports could extend the lifespan of a healthy brain and delay cognitive decline? This is, in a sense, the conclusion of a new scientific study published in The Journal of Physiology and reported by the Daily mail. According to several researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand, just six minutes of high-intensity exercise a day can help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
As part of their study, the researchers tried to find the best way to stimulate the production of a certain protein, called BDNF and known to be crucial for brain formation, learning and memory. It is also known to support the brain’s ability to form new connections and pathways.
As they reveal, pharmaceutical interventions such as taking medication failed to increase the amount of BDNF produced by the human body. Faced with this observation, the researchers then looked at four other methods likely to boost the protein: a 20-hour fast, 90 minutes of low-intensity cycling, a six-minute vigorous exercise session, and a combination of fasting and exercise.
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And the results revealed that short but vigorous exercise was the most effective way to increase BDNF. “We have seen the need to explore non-pharmacological approaches capable of preserving brain capacity that people can use to naturally increase BDNF to aid in healthy aging.” said study lead author Travis Gibbons. Note that a recent study also found that one-minute bursts of daily activity, such as running to a bus, can help extend life.
A total of 55.2 million people have Alzheimer’s disease or a related disease worldwide, according to the WHO. This figure is expected to reach 78 million by 2030 and 139 million by 2050.
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