All roads lead to Rome - a review of the potential mechanisms by which exerkines exhibit neuroprotective effects in Alzheimer's disease

Age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have become a critical public health issue due to the significantly extended human lifespan, leading to considerable economic and social burdens. Traditional therapies for AD such as medicine and surgery remain ineffective, impractical, and expensive. Many studies have shown that a variety of bioactive substances released by physical exercise (called “exerkines”) help to maintain and improve the normal functions of the brain in terms of cognition, emotion, and psychomotor coordination. Increasing evidence suggests that exerkines may exert beneficial effects in AD as well. This review summarizes the neuroprotective effects of exerkines in AD, focusing on the underlying molecular mechanism and the dynamic expression of exerkines after physical exercise. The findings described in this review will help direct research into novel targets for the treatment of AD and develop customized exercise therapy for individuals of different ages, genders, and health conditions.