Brain insulin resistance and cognitive function: influence of exercise.

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Exercise has systemic health benefits in people, in part, through improving whole-body insulin sensitivity. The brain is an insulin sensitive organ that is often underdiscussed relative to skeletal muscle, liver, and adipose tissue. While brain insulin action may have only subtle impacts on peripheral regulation of systemic glucose homeostasis, it is important for weight regulation as well as mental health. In fact, brain insulin signaling is also involved in processes that support healthy cognition.

Furthermore, brain insulin resistance has been associated with age-related declines in memory and executive function as well as Alzheimer's disease pathology. Herein, the authors provide an overview of brain insulin sensitivity in relation to cognitive function from animal and human studies, with particular emphasis placed on the impact exercise may have on brain insulin sensitivity. Mechanisms discussed include mitochondrial function, brain growth factors, and neurogenesis, which collectively help combat obesity-related metabolic disease and Alzheimer's dementia.

Read the original article on Pubmed

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