Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by neuronal degeneration, vascular
pathology and cognitive decline. Furthermore, deficits in cerebral glucose metabolism and insulin resistance
are being increasingly recognized in AD. Many lifestyle-modifying approaches, including diet
and exercise, have yielded promising results in modulating brain morphology and function for the prevention
and early treatment of AD.
Objective: This review focuses on the effects of physical exercise on rescuing cognition and limiting
the progression of AD pathology. Specifically, the impact of exercise, in human and animal models of
AD, on the stimulation and preservation of cognition, neurotransmission, neurogenesis, vasculature,
glucose metabolism and insulin signaling is discussed.
Conclusion: Studies have highlighted the potential of physical activity to improve overall brain health,
which could delay or lessen AD-related cognitive deficits and pathology. Physical activity influences
cognitive function, vascular health and brain metabolism, which taken together offers benefits for the
aging population, including AD patients.