Navigation Links
Use it or lose it
Date:3/6/2013

Boston, MA "Use it or lose it." The saying could apply especially to the brain when it comes to protecting against Alzheimer's disease. Previous studies have shown that keeping the mind active, exercising and social interactions may help delay the onset of dementia in Alzheimer's disease.

Now, a new study led by Dennis Selkoe, MD, co-director of the Center for Neurologic Diseases in the BWH Department of Neurology, provides specific pre-clinical scientific evidence supporting the concept that prolonged and intensive stimulation by an enriched environment, especially regular exposure to new activities, may have beneficial effects in delaying one of the key negative factors in Alzheimer's disease.

The study will be published online on March 6, 2013 in Neuron.

Alzheimer's disease occurs when a protein called amyloid beta accumulates and forms "senile plaques" in the brain. This protein accumulation can block nerve cells in the brain from properly communicating with one another. This may gradually lead to an erosion of a person's mental processes, such as memory, attention, and the ability to learn, understand and process information.

The BWH researchers used a wild-type mouse model when evaluating how the environment might affect Alzheimer's disease. Unlike other pre-clinical models used in Alzheimer's disease research, wild-type mice tend to more closely mimic the scenario of average humans developing the disease under normal environmental conditions, rather than being strongly genetically pre-disposed to the disease.

Selkoe and his team found that prolonged exposure to an enriched environment activated certain adrenalin-related brain receptors which triggered a signaling pathway that prevented amyloid beta protein from weakening the communication between nerve cells in the brain's "memory center," the hippocampus. The hippocampus plays an important role in both short- and long-term memory.

The ability of an enriched, novel environment to prevent amyloid beta protein from affecting the signaling strength and communication between nerve cells was seen in both young and middle-aged wild-type mice.

"This part of our work suggests that prolonged exposure to a richer, more novel environment beginning even in middle age might help protect the hippocampus from the bad effects of amyloid beta, which builds up to toxic levels in one hundred percent of Alzheimer patients," said Selkoe.

Moreover, the scientists found that exposing the brain to novel activities in particular provided greater protection against Alzheimer's disease than did just aerobic exercise. According to the researchers, this observation may be due to stimulation that occurred not only physically, but also mentally, when the mice moved quickly from one novel object to another.

"This work helps provide a molecular mechanism for why a richer environment can help lessen the memory-eroding effects of the build-up of amyloid beta protein with age," said Selkoe. "They point to basic scientific reasons for the apparent lessening of AD risk in people with cognitively richer and more complex experiences during life."


'/>"/>

Contact: Marjorie Montemayor-Quellenberg
mmontemayor-quellenberg@partners.org
617-534-1605
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/15/2016)... 15, 2016 ... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... The report forecasts the global military biometrics market to grow ... The report has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with ... growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... Dec. 15, 2016  There is much more to ... starting the engine. Continental will demonstrate the intelligence of ... Vegas . Through the combination of the keyless ... and biometric elements, the international technology company is opening ... and authentication. "The integration of biometric elements ...
(Date:12/12/2016)... -- Researchers at Trinity College, Dublin, are opening up ... material with Silly Putty. The mixture (known as "G-putty") ... sense pulse, blood pressure, respiration, and even the ... The research team,s findings were published Thursday in ... Due ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/21/2017)... 2017 Interpace Diagnostics Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... clinically useful molecular diagnostic tests and pathology services, ... securities purchase agreement with three  institutional investors to ... stock in a registered direct offering.  In a ... sell to the same investors warrants to purchase ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... 20, 2017 Stock-Callers.com explores the ... influenced the most recent performances of select equities. In ... RGLS ), Abeona Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ), and Sage Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SAGE ... View Research, global Biotech market size is expected to reach $604.40 billion by ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- Market Research Future has a half cooked research report on Global ... rapidly and expected to reach USD 450 Million by the end ... ... been assessed as a swiftly growing market and expected that the ... future. There has been a tremendous growth in the prevalence of ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... November ... to leading biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and regulators, is proud to announce ... Part 11-compliant email client designed to provide product vigilance departments with the flexibility ...
Breaking Biology Technology: