"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

High protein levels may explain how exercise boosts the brain.

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Science has shown a powerful link between exercise and a healthy brain, although the precise mechanism is just not well understood. Scientists can now higher explain this relationship.

In a recent study, researchers examined the brains of older adults after they died and located that those that were energetic later in life had higher amounts of synaptic proteins. These proteins improve connections between nerve cells within the brain.

The study involved greater than 400 healthy older adults, all of whom agreed to have their brains analyzed after death. Their average every day activity was calculated using tracking devices and interviews. After their deaths, tissue samples were taken from six brain regions.

Those who were most physically energetic — and remained so until the tip — had probably the most synaptic proteins. While the researchers found high levels within the hippocampus, the brain's pilot seat for memory, the protein also appeared in other areas related to cognitive function.

The findings support previous studies by the identical researchers that showed that synaptic proteins can disrupt the build-up of amyloid and tau — toxic proteins which can be hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.

More research is coming, but these findings confirm the adage that an energetic body creates an energetic mind, regardless of your age. Results published on seventh January 2022. Alzheimer's and Dementia: Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

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