« Exercise is one of the most powerful and best-studied ways to protect the brain against age-related cognitive declineIn fact, it becomes more and more clear every day that it plays a very important role in the prevention of neurodegenerative risks (from Alzheimer’s disease to a good number of rare congenital dementias). The problem is, not all older people can exercise regularly. .

What if it wasn’t necessary? A team of researchers from the Eli & Edythe Broad Center for Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of California at San Francisco has discovered a curious phenomenon that could answer this question in an extremely curious way: this, at least in the mice, Blood plasma transmits the restorative effects of exercise to the brains of elderly and sedentary subjects.

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How is it possible? How it works?

Gabrielle Rocha Rios

The idea is not new. Many researchers have looked for therapies that may confer some of the same neurological benefits to people with low levels of physical activity.. However, the poor understanding of the mechanisms by which exercise is neuroprotective has turned all these attempts into a dead end. Now the thing has changed.

The study has just appeared in Science shows that after exercise, the liver of mice secretes a protein called Gpld1 and high levels of this protein (in the blood) correlate with better cognitive function in old mice. On the flip side, they found that the same enzyme is also found at high levels in the blood of older humans who exercise regularly.

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To do this, there was only one question left to close the circle: to verify that increasing the amount of Gpld1 produced by the liver could confer many of the same brain benefits as regular exercise without the need for it. to do. Because? Because, as UCSF professor Saul Villeda pointed out, it means the door could be opened to create a pill which produced the same benefits for the brain as exercise.

The pill question is not joke. Researchers have already shown that the biological factors present in blood from young mice can rejuvenate the brains of aging mice. Likewise, factors in the blood of older mice can cause premature age-related cognitive decline in young mice. The weak point is that whatever vampirism we want to achieve, blood plasma is not a very comfortable and versatile therapy.

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Hence the interest of this study: ” suggests that at least some of these benefits may one day be available as a medicineNow the hardest part is finding this drug, although on such a potentially lucrative subject we can expect that right now there will be a lot of teams working on it.

Image | Anupam Mahapatra

Source : Engadget