Rui Wang – How does physical activity preserve cognition in aging?
Physical activity can protect against or delay the onset of cognitive decline in aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The long-term health-promoting effects and cognitive benefits of physical activity are encouraging, whereas the potential mechanisms remain poorly understood. This is crucial as multiple pathological brain changes (e.g., vascular damage, neurodegeneration, and AD pathology) may occur simultaneously and interactively in older adults.
The overall goal of this project is to explore whether the protective effect of physical activity on cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults, is through reducing the burden for age-related pathological brain lesions, such as cerebral small vessel diseases, cerebral blood flow, neurodegeneration, and AD pathologies. Ultimately, an effective plan of physically active lifestyle will be formulated for older adults tailored towards their cognitive benefits and health status.
The overall goal and specific aims in each study will be fully achieved by exploring multidisciplinary data from 2 longitudinal cohorts: the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP) and the Swedish National study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K).