Resistance exercise-induced responses in physiological factors linked with cognitive health
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care
The global population is aging at an unprecedented rate giving rise to a greater prevalence of age-related illnesses such as dementia and vascular disease. Dementia affects approximately 47 million individuals globally with projections of 130 million by the year 2050. Late-onset Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for approximately 75% of all cases and is characterized by a progressive decline in cognitive function, memory, and cerebral volume. The pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease is poorly understood; however, aging, genetics, and an individual's diet and lifestyle over several decades appear to be key determinants. As there is no current cure for Alzheimer's disease, postponing or preventing the onset of Alzheimer's disease and dementia through therapeutic methods should, therefore, be targeted at individuals decades prior to an individual showing signs or symptoms of decline. As a preventative tool, resistance exercise improves memory, attention, spatial awareness, reaction time, planning, and information processing. Improvements in cognitive performance following resistance exercise and training may be mediated by peripheral elevations in the physiological biomarkers (i.e., neural and vascular) explored in this review. The purpose of this review is to discuss vascular and neuronal degeneration as a cause or consequence of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and the biological markers of neurogenesis and blood vessel growth, function, and regulation. We will also explore the merits of acute and chronic resistance training as a strategy to postpone the onset of cognitive decline, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease. © 2019 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.