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:2/7/2017)... York , February 7, 2017 ... ID Global Solutions Corporation [OTC: IDGS], ("Ipsidy" or the ... and electronic transaction processing services, is pleased to announce ... the Company. Effective January 31, 2017, ... Board of Directors, CEO and President.  An experienced payment ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... NEW YORK , Feb. 2, 2017  EyeLock ... has released a new white paper " What You ... The problem of ensuring user authenticity is a ... protect the authentication of users. However, traditional authentication schemes ... Biometric authentication offers an elegant ...
(Date:1/26/2017)... CITY , Jan. 26, 2017  Crossmatch, a ... unveiled a new solution aimed at combatting fraud, waste ... solution was introduced at the Action on Disaster Relief ... key meeting point for UN agencies and foreign assistance ... Fraud, waste and abuse are a largely unacknowledged ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/17/2017)... Calif. , Feb. 17, 2017  BioGenex, ... to announce development of a novel system for ... collaboration with the University of Rochester (NY, USA) ... ). The new system is able to accurately ... biomarker, HER2 (Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2) in ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 16, 2017 , ... Avomeen & ... The event will be held at Avomeen Analytical Services (4840 Venture Dr., Ann ... MichBio member organization. They provide an opportunity to interact with peers, make new connections ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... to their offering. ... The study scope includes ... chassis organisms, synthetic cells, production systems), enabling technologies (DNA ... specialty media) and enabled technologies (biofuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, agriculture) ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... 2017  Dermata Therapeutics, LLC, a biotechnology company ... variety of dermatological diseases, today announced it has ... entered into a $5 million credit facility with ... the capital for general corporate purposes to further ... treatment of serious diseases treated by dermatologists.   ...
Breaking Biology Technology: