Exercise has long been known as a preventer of health conditions and the key to a healthy lifestyle but new research has revealed it could help with one of the world’s most common diseases.
A new study conducted by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro has found a hormone which is released through exercise has the potential to stop the debilitating memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s.
Research published recently in Nature Medicine has uncovered the beneficial properties of irisin – a messenger protein which is generated by muscle tissue that is carried around the body in the bloodstream.
The team of international scientists found those suffering from Azheimer’s had lower levels of the protein than an average healthy person. They produced similar results for its protein precursor FNDC5.
Scientists discovered this by conducting tests on mice and analysing memory decline when irisin levels were cut. From here they were able to reverse the effects by restoring the hormone.
The study also found if receptors for the protein were blocked in the mice, exercise no longer benefitted memory.
Although further studies are required to understand exactly how irisin enters and interacts with the brain, researchers believe the new findings could pave the way towards new therapeutic strategies to mitigate cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
New research relating to Alzheimer’s is always popping up with researchers making a major breakthrough when it comes to understanding and treating the disease late last year. Researchers discovered that an existing HIV medication could be used to treat the cognitive condition.
A study by researchers at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego, published in Nature Journal, probed further into the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s disease and examined the genetic neurons in the brain that rearrange themselves over a person’s lifetime.
Using new technology, researchers noticed that genes are “mixed and matched” in the brain over time and that one of the genes in this process is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
For their study researchers analysed brain samples of seven people with Alzheimer’s and six without. This showed them the genetic blueprint of people with Alzheimer’s and how it changes when the disease is developing.
Furthermore, researchers noted the shuffling mechanism is similar to the way the HIV virus spreads. Pharmaceutical companies have already developed and sold medication that stops this mechanism and researchers are now hopeful the same HIV medication could be used to prevent Alzheimer’s from getting worse in patients who have already developed the disease.
This is great news for those living with Alzheimer’s as new medications can take up to 10 years to be approved by the FDA and similar drug authorities. This time they won’t have to wait before beginning clinical trials as the HIV medication is already readily available.