Tuesday January 23, 2018

Regular Physical Exercise Can Help You to Prevent Dementia: Research

In the study, physical exercise led to stable cerebral choline concentrations in the training group, whereas choline levels increased in the control group

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Physical exercise is proven to be beneficial for Dementia patients. Wikimedia
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  • Regular physical has a positive impact on brain metabolism
  • The findings showed that physical activity prevented an increase in choline – a very important macro-nutrient
  • Magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) were used to measure brain metabolism and brain structure

London, July 23, 2017: Regular physical exercise not only enhances fitness but also has a positive impact on brain metabolism, researchers say.

The findings showed that physical activity prevented an increase in choline — a         macro-nutrient that’s important for liver function, normal brain development, nerve function, muscle movement, supporting energy levels and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

The concentration of this metabolite often rises as a result of the increased loss of nerve cells, which typically occurs in the case of Alzheimer’s disease, said Johannes Pantel, Professor at the Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany.

In the study, physical exercise led to stable cerebral choline concentrations in the training group, whereas choline levels increased in the control group.

ALSO READWeekly Social Hour is all you Need to Help Dementia Patients

The participants’ physical fitness also improved. They showed increased cardiac efficiency after the training period. Overall, these findings suggest that physical exercise not only improves physical fitness but also protects cells.

To understand the positive influence of physical activity on the brain, gerontologists and sports physicians examined the effects of regular exercise on brain metabolism and memory of participants aged between 65 and 85 on movement-related parameters, cardiopulmonary fitness and cognitive performance.

The participants were asked to mount an exercise bike three times a week over a period of 12 weeks for 30-minute training sessions.

Magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) were used to measure brain metabolism and brain structure.

The results showed that regular physical exercise seems beneficial in the prevention of cognitive impairment and dementia in old age. (IANS)

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A study finds: What causes dementia?

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1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. Pixabay
1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. Pixabay

Dementia results in a progressive and irreversible loss of nerve cells and brain functioning, causing loss of memory and cognitive impairments affecting the ability to learn. Currently, there is no cure.

Findings

  • The toxic build-up of urea, a compound created by the liver, in the brain has been found as the major reason that can cause brain damage and lead to Huntington’s Disease, one of seven major types of age-related dementia.
  • Urea level peaks in the brain even before dementia sets in. The discovery could one day help doctors diagnose and even treat dementia.
  • Urea is similarly linked to Alzheimer’s, suggesting that the toxic build-up of urea could be relevant to all types of age-related dementias.
44 million people worldwide suffer from dementia. Pixabay
44 million people worldwide suffer from dementia. Pixabay

“This study on Huntington’s Disease is the final piece of the jigsaw which leads us to conclude that high brain urea plays a pivotal role in dementia,” said Garth Cooper, Professor at The University of Manchester.

“Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s are at opposite ends of the dementia spectrum — so if this holds true for these types, then I believe it is highly likely it will hold true for all the major age-related dementias,” Cooper said, in the paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Urea and ammonia in the brain are metabolic breakdown products of protein. If urea and ammonia build up in the body because the kidneys are unable to eliminate them, for example, serious symptoms can result, the researchers said.

“More research, however, is needed to discover the source of the elevated urea in Huntington’s Disease, particularly concerning the potential involvement of ammonia and a systemic metabolic defect,” Cooper noted.

For the study, the team used human brains, donated by families for medical research, as well as transgenic sheep in Australia.

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