Exercise may keep memory sharp

Studies zoom in on irisin, a hormone released during workouts which may boost brain health and reduce damage from dementia

Levels of the hormone irisin were especially high in the brains of people free of dementia when they died, but were barely detectable in the brains of people who had died with Alzheimer's.
Levels of the hormone irisin were especially high in the brains of people free of dementia when they died, but were barely detectable in the brains of people who had died with Alzheimer's.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

NEW YORK • Exercise control over brain wellness? A hormone released during exercise may improve brain health and lessen the damage and memory loss that occur during dementia, a new study finds.

The study, published this month in Nature Medicine, involved mice, but its findings could help to explain how, at a molecular level, exercise protects people's brains and possibly preserves memory and thinking skills, even in people whose pasts are fading.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2019, with the headline 'Exercise may keep memory sharp'. Subscribe