Therapeutic Exercise Prescription: Epigenetic and Healthy Ageing

Original Editor - Tolulope Adeniji

Top Contributors - Tolulope Adeniji, Lucinda hampton and Kim Jackson  

Overview[edit | edit source]

The physiological declines in body systems characterize aging, which is a complicated and intra-individual process. Epigenetic alterations, genomic instability, telomeric attrition, proteostasis loss, and uncontrolled nutrient sensing are only a few of the recently discovered cellullar and molecular hallmarks of aging. Mitochondrial malfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, and alterations in intercellular communication are among the others.[1] Therapeutic exercise appears to improve these age-related biomarkers, according to emerging research.[1] As a result, prescribing the correct amount of exercise that would result in the slowing or reversal of ageing is imperative.

In terms of giving specific therapeutic exercise interventions that will result in the intended outcome, the epigenetic discipline is promising. Epigenetic field is described as the study of how repeated exposures to environmental elements like exercise, emotional stress, and nutrition might improve the expression or repression of a certain gene.[2]It is also worth noting that the epigenome may be one of the processes by which exercise manifests its beneficial effects. Thus, healthy aging can be achieved by determining how much exercise is required to combat the signs of aging.

Evidence on Epigenetic and Healthy Ageing[edit | edit source]

Exercise has grown in popularity as a treatment for many chronic diseases, but the same cannot be said for the epigenetic field and exercise prescription.[2]However, new researches on how exercise can cause epigenetic changes are emerging.[1] [2] The following are some recent epigenetics studies that may be useful in prescribing tailored therapeutic exercise to promote healthy aging.[2]:

  • Exercise-induced DNA methylation, epigenetic changes, and human longevity are all linked.
  • The methylation level of 485,577 may represent epigenetic age (DNA methylation age), a biomarker of epigenetic ageing.
  • Low epigenetic age may suggests good chronological age.
  • Exercise and a healthy diet have been linked to a low epigenetic age.
  • Epigenetic adaptation occurs after 6 months of endurance training, as well as 60 minutes of cycling at 70% VO2 max.[3]
  • According to Barrès and colleagues, 35 minutes of high-intensity exercise at around 80% of maximum aerobic capacity induce epigenetic adaptation.[4]

Future Direction on Epigenetic and Healthy Ageing[edit | edit source]

Of note[2]:

Empirical investigations on the effects of low-intensity exercise and epigenetic changes are needed.

The field of epigenetics may improve physiotherapy and other fields, such as pharmacy, which is developing new medications based on fresh information from genomic data to replace harmful medications.

It is projected that in the not-too-distant future, physiotherapy will employ genetic knowledge to prescribe precise exercise to individuals with certain genotypes.

Individual genomic information will be used in physical therapy exercise prescription as knowledge about the genetic determinants of individual response to exercise advances.

Of important:

“Physical therapy clinicians, as the health care team's experts in exercise dose prescription, will be at the forefront of research to uncover the optimal modes, intensities, and durations of exercise for preventing or reversing disease in patients with unfavorable epigenetic status.”[2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rebelo-Marques A, De Sousa Lages A, Andrade R, Ribeiro CF, Mota-Pinto A, Carrilho F, Espregueira-Mendes J. Aging hallmarks: the benefits of physical exercise. Frontiers in endocrinology. 2018 May 25;9:258.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Woelfel JR, Dudley-Javoroski S, Shields RK. Precision physical therapy: exercise, the epigenome, and the heritability of environmentally modified traits. Physical therapy. 2018 Nov 1;98(11):946-52.
  3. Rönn T, Volkov P, Davegårdh C, Dayeh T, Hall E, Olsson AH, Nilsson E, Tornberg Å, Dekker Nitert M, Eriksson KF, Jones HA. A six months exercise intervention influences the genome-wide DNA methylation pattern in human adipose tissue. PLoS genetics. 2013 Jun 27;9(6):e1003572.
  4. Barres R, Yan J, Egan B, Treebak JT, Rasmussen M, Fritz T, Caidahl K, Krook A, O'Gorman DJ, Zierath JR. Acute exercise remodels promoter methylation in human skeletal muscle. Cell metabolism. 2012 Mar 7;15(3):405-11.