How the hormone irisin may enhance the cognitive benefits of exercise

According to a recent study by experts at Massachusetts General Hospital, the hormone irisin secreted by the muscles during a physical exercise workout may enhance its cognitive benefits, potentially being useful for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

First published online in the journal Nature Metabolism, the study involved experimentation on rodents, showing how genetic deletion of irisin impairs cognition during exercise, aging, and in Alzheimer’s, partially caused by changes in newborn neurons in the hippocampus brain region.

“Here, we show that irisin, the cleaved and circulating form of the exercise-induced membrane protein FNDC5, is sufficient to confer the benefits of exercise on cognitive function,” the findings read.

“Genetic deletion of Fndc5/irisin (global Fndc5 knock-out (KO) mice; F5KO) impairs cognitive function in exercise, ageing and AD. Diminished pattern separation in F5KO mice can be rescued by delivering irisin directly into the dentate gyrus, suggesting that irisin is the active moiety.”

“Identifying secreted mediators that drive the cognitive benefits of exercise holds great promise for the treatment of cognitive decline in ageing or Alzheimer’s disease (AD),” researchers affirmed in their findings.

In the findings, researchers attributed irisin as a significant regulator of the cognitive benefits of exercise, asserting it as a potential focus area for the treatment of cognitive illnesses, like Alzheimer’s.

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