The study published this week in Archives of Neurology concluded that those people who carry the Alzheimer’s gene (APOE-4) and who regularly exercised over a decade were 5 to 10 times less likely to have brain plaques linked to the disease than those people who did not exercise.
"It’s not proof that exercise is protective, but it’s a very strong association and it gives biologic credence that staying physically active may help us protect against Alzheimer’s disease,” said said John C. Morris, senior author of the study.
According to Bloomberg.com:
"The study involved 201 people ages 45 to 88 years without symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease who filled out questionnaires on their physical activity during the past ten years. The patients were also tested to see if they carried the APOE-4 gene. The researchers then used spinal fluid tests or brain images to see if the patients had amyloid deposits in their brain.
About one-third of the study participants carried the APOE- 4 gene, Morris said. Those who engaged in brisk walking or jogging at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week benefited from the physical activity, he said.
Those without the gene and exercise didn’t have the same results."