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We all know that we don t need reasons to exercise. They are beneficial in ways more than we can imagine. But if there s one more reason that you need to add in that list of innumerable benefits, then add this improved thinking when suffering from Alzheimer s disease, a form of dementia.
A new study done at the Massachusetts General Hospital reported that exercising promotes the growth of new brain cells that improve thinking capacity in mice with a form of Alzheimer's disease.
The researchers from MGH said that there were possibilities to develop drug and gene therapies which could trigger the same beneficial effects in humans with the brain condition.
"While we do not yet have the means for safely achieving the same effects in patients, we determined the precise protein and gene targets for developing ways to do so in the future," study lead author Se Hoon Choi said in a news release.
Published in the Journal Science, the team added that exercise triggered the production of new neurons (neurogenesis) in the brain regions of mice where memories are programmed.
The study's senior author, Rudolph Tanzi, director of the genetics and aging research unit at MGH, said in the release, "The team showed that exercise is one of the best ways to turn on neurogenesis. And then, by figuring out the molecular and genetic events involved, we determined how to mimic the beneficial effects of exercise through gene therapy and pharmacological agents."
Dr Tanzi added that though the results of animal studies don t always replicate in people, but the team is optimistic about getting desired results for humans as well.
"We will next explore whether safely promoting neurogenesis in Alzheimer's patients will help alleviate the symptoms of the disease, and whether doing so in currently healthy individuals earlier in life can help prevent symptoms later on," Tanzi concluded in the release.
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