FBPixel Exercise - David Perlmutter M.D.


There’s a lot to consider when evaluating our exercise choices. But the bottom line is we know it’s good for us. That said, variables like resistance, endurance, interval training, heart rate, time of day, and even gender-based recommendations are all important to help get the most out of this incredibly important daily decision. 

Exercise Frequently Asked Questions

What are some ways to avoid getting Alzheimer’s?
Here are the fundamental keys for reducing your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease, a disease for which there is no treatment. First, dramatically reduce your carbohydrate consumption while increasing your consumption of "good" fats like fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Second, get 15-20 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. This actually turns on the DNA in your genome that codes for the production of BDNF, basically the brain's "growth hormone." Third, make sure you're consuming at least 1000mg daily of the omega-3 DHA. Research clearly links higher DHA levels with reduced risk, not only for Alzheimer's disease, but for other forms of dementia as well.
What is neuroplasticity and how does it work?
I posted an answer to this question over on IntegrativePractitioner. What follows are snippets from that article. For the whole article see: Making New Connections: The Gift of Neuroplasticity. The ability of the brain to change and reorganize itself and its function is called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity provides us with a brain that can adapt not only to changes inflicted by damage, but more importantly, allows adaptation to any and all experiences and changes we may encounter, freeing us from merely responding reflexively as a consequence of genetically determined hardwiring. Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone recently stated that neuroplasticity “… is an intrinsic property of the human brain and represents evolution’s invention to enable the nervous system to escape the restrictions of its own genome and thus adapt to environmental pressures, physiological changes, and experiences.” How does neuroplasticity come about? While the individual working unit of the brain is the single neuron, even simple tasks require the recruitment of vast numbers of interconnected neurons functioning as a unit or network devoted to accomplishing even the simplest activity. The neural network represents a specific unique pattern of connections of neurons that fire in a specified sequence that allows you to accomplish such tasks as snapping your fingers, or recalling the lyrics to Hey Jude. And neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to adapt and change, is predicated on the modification of existing neural networks and the creation of new ones. Though the precise biochemical changes that take place when neurons connect to form these networks is quite complex, there is general agreement among researchers that BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), BDNF, creates the fertile ground for this union to take place, helping transform a mere embrace of two neurons into an eternal dance. Thus, BDNF is now looked upon as playing a pivotal role in neuroplasticity. Modifiable behaviors which upregulate BDNF transcription include physical exercise, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, and caloric restrictions. But it takes more than simple repetition of a stimulation or activity to create the brain connections that lead to the formation of neural networks.
How can I improve my short-term memory?
The two most important tasks for anyone to help short-term memory are to increase aerobic exercise to at least 20 minutes daily. And second, make sure you're getting at least 800-1000mg DHA in your diet each day (adults).