Alzheimer's Disease

Frequently Asked Questions

16. Can exercising prevent Alzheimer’s disease?

Research suggests that exercise may play a role in reducing risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Animal studies show that exercise increases both the number of small blood vessels that supply blood to the brain and the number of connections between nerve cells in older rats and mice. In addition, researchers have found that exercise raises the level of a nerve growth factor (a protein key to brain health) in an area of the brain that is important to memory and learning. Researchers have also shown that exercise can stimulate the human brain’s ability to maintain old network connections and make new ones.

See suggestions for ways older adults can start or continue to exercise.