Saturday April 4, 2020

Inflammation in Brain Can Lead to Dementia: Study

Inflammation in the brain linked to several forms of dementia

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Inflammation in the brain may be more widely implicated in dementias than was previously thought. Pixabay

Researchers have revealed that inflammation in the brain may be more widely implicated in dementias than was previously thought. This is a health news.

Inflammation in the brain – known as neuroinflammation – has been recognised and linked to many disorders including depression, psychosis and multiple sclerosis. It has also recently been linked to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

For the study, published in the journal Brain, the researchers set out to examine whether neuroinflammation also occurs in other forms of dementia, which would imply that it is common to many neurodegenerative diseases.

The team recruited 31 patients with three different types of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). FTD is a family of different conditions resulting from the build-up of several abnormal ‘junk’ proteins in the brain. “We predicted the link between inflammation in the brain and the build-up of damaging proteins, but even we were surprised by how tightly these two problems mapped on to each other,” said study researcher Thomas Cope from University of Cambridge in the UK.

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For the study, published in the journal Brain, the researchers set out to examine whether neuroinflammation also occurs in other forms of dementia, which would imply that it is common to many neurodegenerative diseases. Pixabay

According to the researchers, patients underwent brain scans to detect inflammation and the junk proteins. Two Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans each used an injection with a chemical ‘dye’, which lights up special molecules that reveal either the brain’s inflammatory cells or the junk proteins.

In the first scan, the dye lit up the cells causing neuroinflammation. These indicate ongoing damage to the brain cells and their connections. In the second scan, the dye binds to the different types of ‘junk’ proteins found in FTD.

The researchers showed that across the brain, and in all three types of FTD, the more inflammation in each part of the brain, the more harmful build-up of the junk proteins there is. To prove the dyes were picking up the inflammation and harmful proteins, they went on to analyse under the microscope 12 brains donated after death to the Cambridge Brain Bank.

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“There may be a vicious circle where cell damage triggers inflammation, which in turn leads to further cell damage,” sad study researcher Richard Bevan Jones.

The research team stressed that further research is needed to translate this knowledge of inflammation in dementia into testable treatments. (IANS)

Next Story

Light Physical Activity is Good For Stroke Survivors, Says Study

The researchers discovered that, on average, the stroke survivors logged only about seven minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per day

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Stroke is a major cause of disability in older adults globally. Pixabay

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have revealed that stroke survivors who engaged in a lot of light physical activity such as taking leisurely walks or attending to non-strenuous household chores reported fewer physical limitations than their more sedentary peers.

In the findings published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the research team used accelerometers to measure daily physical activity in 30 stroke survivors for a week, assessing how much the participants moved and how well they performed routine physical tasks.

Stroke is a major cause of disability in older adults globally.

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“Our findings are preliminary but suggest that – in addition to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity — those daily routines that keep us on our feet and physically engaged in lighter tasks also contribute to better physical functioning in stroke survivors,” said study researcher Neha Gothe, Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana in the US.

For the findings, the research team used two measures of physical ability — the Short Physical Performance Battery, which measures balance, walking speed and lower-limb endurance, and the Late-Life Function and Disability Instrument, which asks participants to report how difficult it is for them to perform daily tasks such as getting in and out of a car or pouring water from a heavy pitcher.

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Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have revealed that stroke survivors who engaged in a lot of light physical activity such as taking leisurely walks or attending to non-strenuous household chores reported fewer physical limitations than their more sedentary peers. Pixabay

The researchers discovered that, on average, the stroke survivors logged only about seven minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per day. “In contrast, they averaged more than three hours of light physical activity each day,” Gothe said.

“This includes things like walking at a leisurely pace, housekeeping, light gardening or other activities that do not cause a person to break a sweat,” she added.

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The amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity was the best predictor of participants’ performance on objective measures of physical function, the researchers found. But a person’s self-reported ability to perform daily tasks was much more closely associated with the amount of time they engaged in light physical activity.

“Engaging in light physical activity can be healthy and beneficial, especially for those with chronic health conditions such as stroke,” Gothe noted. (IANS)