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Table 2 Mechanisms of action for physical activity and dementia

From: Physical activity for people with dementia: a scoping study

Mechanism of action Description
Vascular Exercise could restore cerebral hypoperfusion, the decrease of the perfusion of the blood into the brain
Neurochemical Exercise increases endorphin and serotonin levels in the brain, which may in turn increase the functioning of the central nervous system and enhance cognitive performance
Cognitive reserve Reduction in cognitive deficits is achieved by activating brain plasticity and enhancing synaptogenesis and neurogenesis
Stress Physically active individuals have more positive emotional feelings, which reduce stress and lead to lower susceptibility to cognitive impairment
Functional Facilitates acquisition of spatial learning and memory