Exercise has long been shown to keep people healthy and often advised to promote mental health. However, in certain circumstances, this may not be correct and exercise may actually be harmful. Researchers from Oxford University sought to find if an exercise program would be beneficial to people with mild dementia. 494 people living with dementia were placed into two groups, those who received normal care and those who also participated in an exercise program twice a week and prescribed a home workout once a week.
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science have found a mutation in mice that has the potential to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. They found that this mutation can reduce the accumulation of amyloid-beta peptides. These amyloid-beta plaques are a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s disease, created from the leftover part of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). They successfully recreated the APP gene mutation in mouse models for the purpose of the study. Previous research has shown that the deletion of the APP gene may reduce amyloid-beta plaques.
New research done at Brown University has discovered that stimulating autophagy could be a viable treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, and other neurodegenerative conditions. Autophagy is a natural process within our bodies that works to break down old, dysfunctional, or damaged cells and replace them with new cells, using the recycled parts of the old cells. Through manipulation of proteins the researchers, Louis Lapierre and his team, were able to increase autophagy activity while working on worms and flies.
Researchers from UCLA have successfully been able to transfer memories from one snail to another using ribonucleic acid (RNA) injections. The snails were subjected to minor shocks to their tails, enhancing their defensive withdrawal reflex. When the researchers simply tapped their tails, the shocked snails exhibited a sensitisation reaction and contracted their tails for 50 seconds, whereas control snails would only contract for 1 second. RNA was extracted from 7 shocked snails and injected into normal snails. These snails then behaved as if they had been shocked themselves.
Although concussions have been acknowledged in the media and research as having great risks and increase the potential to develop dementia, new research suggests that even small, seemingly insignificant hits to the head can increase one’s risk of dementia. In the United States 357, 558 veterans were tracked for approximately four years.