The role of physical activity on the prevention of cognitive impairment
Di Costanzo, A.
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Physical exercise is associated with reduced risk of heart disease, type II diabetes mellitus, and overall mortality. However, growing evidence shows that physical activity can also improve cognitive function and may lower the risk of developing dementia, but Randomized Clinical Trials gave mixed results. Aim of this article was to review the knowledge available in literature on the effects of physical activity on cognition and the suggested possible mechanisms involved in these effects. Our group have planned a trial aiming to evaluate the effectiveness of physical activity in preventing or delaying the cognitive decline in individuals at risk of developing dementia. Beside the effects of exercise on cognition are not fully defined, also the mechanisms underlying the benefits of physical activity on cognitive sphere are not completely known. Recently the SIRT1 loss is both closely associated with accumulation of beta amyloid and tau protein in AD patients. Although there is no specific exercise that can be recommended, the available evidence suggests that practicing more types of physical activity is particularly advantageous. It is important to explore further mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of the AD in order to be able to identify new and effective target treatment, including physical activity.